Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

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

Date:
December 3, 1998
Source:
Case Western Reserve University
Summary:

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 July 25, 2014 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 July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Space & Time News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan

Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan

AP (July 23, 2014) The Progress 56 cargo ship launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan Wednesday. NASA says it will deliver cargo and crew supplies to the International Space Station. (July 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks from Space Station

Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks from Space Station

AP (July 22, 2014) A Russian Soyuz cargo-carrying spacecraft undocked from the International Space Station on Monday. The craft is due to undergo about ten days of engineering tests before it burns up in the Earth's atmosphere. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong

NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong

AP (July 21, 2014) NASA honored one of its most famous astronauts Monday by renaming a historic building at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It now bears the name of Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Neil Armstrong's Post-Apollo 11 Life

Neil Armstrong's Post-Apollo 11 Life

Newsy (July 19, 2014) Neil Armstrong gained international fame after becoming the first man to walk on the moon in 1969. But what was his life like after the historic trip? 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.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          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