Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

CWRU's Nassau Telescope Goes Online In December For Public Use

December 3, 1998
Case Western Reserve University

Related Articles

The first online astronomers will help CWRU debug and refine the telescope operations, says Earle Luck, professor and chair of CWRU's Department of Astronomy.

The robotic telescope will provide two ways of viewing images. The primary viewing mode will be deeper images taken with main observing instrumentation of the telescope. The other is a quick look through finder telescope. These quick images will be posted in real time to allow a browser to see where the telescope is pointed by the main observation request.

"You can put the telescope wherever you want in the observable sky as far as the software and hardware are concerned," he adds. The requests can range for viewing time from a fraction of a second to five minutes and can be a request for a simple image to images using colored filters in red, green, or blue.

Users also will need to provide the position of the object to be observed. This information is available through online astronomy catalogues, also linked to the site. As the site develops, Luck plans to add more user-friendly information to make it easier for all to access the telescope.

Luck conceived the idea of robotizing the telescope. The reflector telescope at the Nassau Station is one of three telescopes operated by CWRU's Department of Astronomy. The Nassau Station is situated on one of the highest hills in Ohio's Geauga County, approximately 30 miles east of Cleveland.

The robotic telescope is composed of the telescope and its associated instrumentation (camera and finder-guider), weather station, weather camera, and power controls for the dome. Each has its own software, which feeds information into a master control program. A computer-based scheduler in the Department of Astronomy will coordinate the requests and return the completed images and information to the telescope users.

By mid-1999, a robotic spectrograph will also go online for those interested in information such as the chemical compositions of stars, how fast a star or galaxy is moving, and the temperature of the viewed object.

Linked to the telescope is a camera trained on Polaris (the North Star), in the direction of Lake Erie. The lake affects much of Northeast Ohio's weather conditions. If the Polaris monitor generates an all-clear signal for 30 minutes straight, the master controller will instruct the dome to open. Weather will be monitored every two minutes, with the dome closing in event of high humidity, rain, snow, extreme cold, or winds of 40 mph, any of which may damage the telescope's mirrors.

Because the station is located in a snow belt, Luck said the tricky part of installing weather equipment was to detect snow. He solved the problem by installing the snow detectors used to trigger the electric elements to melt snow from driveways.

Once the telescope has gathered the requested information, it will send a message to the telescope user that the observation is completed, with a link to a Web-accessible file of the images. A monitoring camera with a larger field of view is planned, which will look in the director of the requested image. Images from this camera will be posted in real time to the Nassau Station Web site.

The robotic telescope project received the support from the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation in Cleveland, the Case Alumni Association, the Offices of the CWRU President and Provost, and several private donors.

The telescope will become a teaching tool within the next year for area teachers as part of the Hands-On Universe science program to enable middle and high school students to learn math and physics through astronomy. The Hands-On Universe program from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is among a number of CWRU-community collaborations in the College of Arts and Sciences' Center for Science and Math Education, seeking to boost interests in these areas through discovery-based learning.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Case Western Reserve University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Cite This Page:

Case Western Reserve University. "CWRU's Nassau Telescope Goes Online In December For Public Use." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 December 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/12/981203075623.htm>.
Case Western Reserve University. (1998, December 3). CWRU's Nassau Telescope Goes Online In December For Public Use. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 3, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/12/981203075623.htm
Case Western Reserve University. "CWRU's Nassau Telescope Goes Online In December For Public Use." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/12/981203075623.htm (accessed March 3, 2015).

Share This

More From ScienceDaily

More Space & Time News

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: SpaceX Launches Rocket, Satellites on Board

Raw: SpaceX Launches Rocket, Satellites on Board

AP (Mar. 2, 2015) — SpaceX launched it&apos;s 16th Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida on Sunday night. The rocket was carrying two commercial communications satellites. (March 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com


NASA (Mar. 2, 2015) — Join NASA EDGE as they cover the launch of the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) spacecraft live from Vandenberg Air Force Base.  Special guests include NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden, SMAP Project System Engineer Shawn Goodman and Lt Col Brande Walton and Joseph Sims from the Air Force.  No word on the Co-Host&apos;s whereabouts. Video provided by NASA
Powered by NewsLook.com
Astronauts Leave Space Station for Third Spacewalk

Astronauts Leave Space Station for Third Spacewalk

Reuters - News Video Online (Mar. 1, 2015) — NASA Commander Barry Wilmore and Flight Engineer Terry Virts perform their third spacewalk in eight days outside the International Space Station. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spacesuit Water Leaks Not An Issue On Latest ISS Walk

Spacesuit Water Leaks Not An Issue On Latest ISS Walk

Newsy (Mar. 1, 2015) — Astronauts are ahead of schedule with hardware upgrades to the International Space Station, despite last week&apos;s spacesuit water leak scare. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.


Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News


Free Subscriptions

Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile

Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?

Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins