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.
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
Studying fundamental particles in materials
17.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Struktur und Dynamik der Materie
Seeing the quantum future... literally
16.01.2017 | University of Sydney
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...
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...
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...
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...
UMD, NOAA collaboration demonstrates suitability of in-orbit datasets for weather satellite calibration
"Traffic and weather, together on the hour!" blasts your local radio station, while your smartphone knows the weather halfway across the world. A network of...
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
05.01.2017 | Event News
16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
16.01.2017 | Information Technology
16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering