Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The world’s first free, open access astronomical observatory officially opened

27.01.2009
The Montegancedo Astronomical Observatory, based at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid’s School of Computing and part of the Madrid Region’s ASTROCAM network, was officially opened on 23 January 2009, coinciding with the International Year of Astronomy 2009.

Present at the opening ceremony were the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid’s Vice Rector of Research, Gonzalo León, the Dean of the School of Computing, Javier Segovia, the principal investigator of the ASTROCAM project and Spanish National Research Council professor, José Cernicharo, and the head of the observatory and School of Computing professor, Francisco Sánchez Moreno. At the end of the ceremony a commemorative plaque was unveiled.

In his brief talk, Francisco Sánchez explained the project history and development, highlighting the fact that this is the first free, open access astronomical observatory in the world. The observatory is remote controlled using software called Ciclope Astro, maintained by the UPM School of Computing’s research group.

This software provides a number of tools for running astronomical experiments, building scenarios and remotely controlling telescopes, cameras and domes. Also it enables internauts to access the observatory from their own homes and experience different astronomical events. Last December, Ciclope Astro was awarded second prize in the 8th New Applications for Internet contest, organized by the New Generation Internet Chair.

Other experiences

Last December the observatory started up an experiment to observe the Sun in the H-alpha band and distinguish sunspots and protuberances. Another aim of the experiment is to learn how to adjust camera parameters to get good astronomical images. Although advance booking is required to control the observatory, four webcams beam whatever is happening real time into your own home. Webcam images are updated every 20 seconds for unregistered users and every second for registered users.

The observatory is located in Building 6 at the School of Computing, based at the Montegancedo Campus in Boadilla del Monte. The dome is equipped with a computer-automated, robotized 10” telescope, and several computers operating as a web applications server. They also link and broadcast the images and videos captured by the webcams arranged around the dome. They all run on GNU/Linux systems.

The key goal of the robotized observatory is to control an astronomical project right down to the very last detail, automating all the tasks and making them accessible and controllable over the Internet.

Even before its official opening, the Montegancedo astronomical observatory participated in several successful events. Last July, for example, it took part in a popular observation of the Moon’s craters. The event was projected on a giant screen at the Cosmo Caixa museum in Madrid and was retransmitted live over the Internet.

The observatory was set up and developed by a team of researchers at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid’s School of Computing led by professor Francisco Manuel Sánchez Moreno.

Eduardo Martínez | alfa
Further information:
http://www.fi.upm.es/?pagina=827&idioma=english

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht NASA's James Webb Space Telescope completes final cryogenic testing
21.11.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht Previous evidence of water on mars now identified as grainflows
21.11.2017 | US Geological Survey

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: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Previous evidence of water on mars now identified as grainflows

21.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NASA's James Webb Space Telescope completes final cryogenic testing

21.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New catalyst controls activation of a carbon-hydrogen bond

21.11.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>