BOOTES-3 observes Pluto occulting a star

The BOOTES-3 dome at its new site, NIWA’s Lauder station in Central Otago (New Zealand). Credits: M. Jelinek
(ASU-CAS) and the BOOTES-3 Team (IAA-CSIC/Auckland U./NIWA).

While waiting for the NASA New Horizons spacecraft to reach Pluto in less than two weeks (closest distance will be 12,500 kilometers), in this time-lapse video you can see Pluto occultating a star. The images were taken with the GLORIA telescope BOOTES-3, recently moved to NIWA’s Lauder station in Central Otago (New Zealand). Watch the star in the centre closely. You will see it becoming dimmer and dimmer and then it gets brighter again as Pluto moves in front of it (see also the image on the left).

Comet C/2015 D1

The comet C/2015 D1 observed at the BOOTES-1 station.

The NASA’s Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) detected an unusual comet skimming past the sun between Feb 18-21, 2015. The Comet C/2015 D1 (SOHO) is interesting because it is not part of any known family of comets. Furthermore, the vast majority of these sungrazer comets that come close enough to the sun usually evaporate in the intense sunlight. This comet passed within 3.5 million kms of the sun’s surface. Did it disintegrate as ISON comet in late 2013 or did survive to the heat of the Sun and gravitational tides?

Here is the answer: above is the 400 mm f2.8 combined image (19x30s) obtained on Feb 27, 2015 at the BOOTES-1 station. It reveals that the comet has survived the perihelion passage as a ghost comet, which means without an apparent nucleus. This is the first image obtained after the perihelion, as far as we know. Stay tuned for new observations!

Thirteen telescopes, but that’s only to start

GLORIA has succeeded in building up the first large scale network of free access robotic telescopes. It will allow any user to take images and actively participate to the their scientific exploitation. The project, which was initiated in October 2011, gives now access to thirteen telescopes: five in Spain, three in Chile, one in Argentina, two in the Czech Republic, one in South Africa and one in Russia. But more will be added soon.
Enter or register on the users’ portal and start using ‘interactively’ four night and one solar telescopes or submit your request for scheduled observations on the other telescopes.

The first phase of the project is ended (all GLORIA partners acknowledge the financial support of EC-FP7), but actually this is just the beginning of GLORIA.
Press release.

NEA candidate observed by GLORIA telescope

Animation of 6 images of the NEA candidate EUMO208 and (click to see it) the stacked image of the same set of images. In both cases the NEA candidate is marked by a purple circle.

On the night between 18th – 19th September 2014, the GLORIA telescope D50 of the Ondrejov Observatory (Czech Republic), performed follow-up observations of a candidate Near Earth Asteroid (NEA) called EUMO208. It was discovered last week by the EURONEAR project (European Near Earth Asteroids Research, with the INT (Isaac Newton Telescope-ING, Observatorio del Roque de Los Muchachos, La Palma, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias).
Observations were made by Miquel Serra-Ricart using the GLORIA night interactive experiment ( The putative position was calculated through a circular orbit approximation. The final report was sent to the Minor Planet Center (MPC – The obtained positional information will be used to calculate the real orbit of the object and then say a final word about its nature: a newly discovered object or an already known object with a not well known orbit.

Teo Mocmik and Ovidiu Vaduvescu (EURONEAR team) were involved in the astrometric analysis.

Sky-object hunting has started

Image of the TAD telescope and the stars’ path around the celestial North Pole as seen from Teide Observatory, Tenerife. Photo credit:, D. Padrón.

A new portal for looking at the night sky has opened. Internet users will operate the telescopes, contributing to the science of astronomy.

From today, the GLORIA project provides Internet users with the possibility of studying the night sky. Since March 2013 GLORIA users have been able to observe the Sun thanks to the TADs solar telescope  (Telescopio Abierto Divulgación solar), located at Teide Observatory, Tenerife, Spain. Now, new research opportunities await, with the opening of five of the network’s night telescopes.
With the start of direct and  real-time observing using three telescopes located in Spain (Huelva, Málaga and Tenerife), and two in the Czech Republic (Ondrejov), GLORIA is fulfilling the challenge of building the first free-access telescope network, that will allow any user to produce scientific knowledge and explore the sky. The remaining telescopes will be brought online in the coming weeks.

To find out what you need to do, first have a look at the 5 minute videotutorial. Then, sign up at