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 Spintronics: Researchers show how to make non-magnetic materials magnetic
06.08.2020 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

nachricht Manifestation of quantum distance in flat band materials
05.08.2020 | Institute for Basic Science

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: ScanCut project completed: laser cutting enables more intricate plug connector designs

Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT have come up with a striking new addition to contact stamping technologies in the ERDF research project ScanCut. In collaboration with industry partners from North Rhine-Westphalia, the Aachen-based team of researchers developed a hybrid manufacturing process for the laser cutting of thin-walled metal strips. This new process makes it possible to fabricate even the tiniest details of contact parts in an eco-friendly, high-precision and efficient manner.

Plug connectors are tiny and, at first glance, unremarkable – yet modern vehicles would be unable to function without them. Several thousand plug connectors...

Im Focus: New Strategy Against Osteoporosis

An international research team has found a new approach that may be able to reduce bone loss in osteoporosis and maintain bone health.

Osteoporosis is the most common age-related bone disease which affects hundreds of millions of individuals worldwide. It is estimated that one in three women...

Im Focus: AI & single-cell genomics

New software predicts cell fate

Traditional single-cell sequencing methods help to reveal insights about cellular differences and functions - but they do this with static snapshots only...

Im Focus: TU Graz Researchers synthesize nanoparticles tailored for special applications

“Core-shell” clusters pave the way for new efficient nanomaterials that make catalysts, magnetic and laser sensors or measuring devices for detecting electromagnetic radiation more efficient.

Whether in innovative high-tech materials, more powerful computer chips, pharmaceuticals or in the field of renewable energies, nanoparticles – smallest...

Im Focus: Tailored light inspired by nature

An international research team with Prof. Cornelia Denz from the Institute of Applied Physics at the University of Münster develop for the first time light fields using caustics that do not change during propagation. With the new method, the physicists cleverly exploit light structures that can be seen in rainbows or when light is transmitted through drinking glasses.

Modern applications as high resolution microsopy or micro- or nanoscale material processing require customized laser beams that do not change during...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2020”: The final touches for surfaces

23.07.2020 | Event News

Conference radar for cybersecurity

21.07.2020 | Event News

Contact Tracing Apps against COVID-19: German National Academy Leopoldina hosts international virtual panel discussion

07.07.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rare Earth Elements in Norwegian Fjords?

06.08.2020 | Earth Sciences

Anode material for safe batteries with a long cycle life

06.08.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Turning carbon dioxide into liquid fuel

06.08.2020 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>