Images of the aurora burst from Greenland and Iceland


The expedition “AURORAS BOREALES 2014″ managed to capture on August 21st with its cameras a burst of aurora activity related to a solar CME phenomenon (Coronal Mass Ejection) occurred two days earlier (it takes time to reach the Earth). We have seen with sharpness and clarity these amazing events from two different sites: the glacier Qaleraliq, SW of Greenland, and Hestheimar, SW of Iceland.

See the photos on Flick.
The time-lapse playlist on YouTube.

GLORIA, focused on citizen science, recorded in the Greenland ice sheet seven hours of the life-cycle of the glacier, where night observations are conducted. The Qarelaliq glacier shows the deep wounds of global warming: it can be clearly seen the retreat of the ice mass. The document, compressed into seven minutes time-lapse, shows stunning details of the melting glacier front, where the falling blocks range from the size of of a small rock to that of a vessel.

See the video time-lapse on YouTube.

GLORIA Project

What is GLORIA?

GLORIA stands for “GLObal Robotic-telescopes Intelligent Array”. GLORIA will be the first free and open- access network of robotic telescopes in the world. It will be a Web 2.0 environment where users can do research in astronomy by observing with robotic telescopes, and/or by analysing data that other users have acquired with GLORIA, or from other free access databases, like the European Virtual Observatory (http://www.euro-vo.org).

Who and how can you access GLORIA?

The community is the most important part of GLORIA. If you are here it means you have an Internet connection and a web browser. Excellent! This means you can become a GLORIA user and be able to observe, and to perform experiments. In fact GLORIA is open to everybody with an interest in astronomy, not only to professional astronomers.

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Aurora Borealis 2014

Like in 2012 and 2013, an expedition to observe the Aurora Borealis from the south of Greenland and Iceland will take place in the period 23-28 August. Named Shelios 2014, the expedition is promoted by the scientific-cultural association Shelios and is coordinated by its president Miquel Serra-Ricart, astronomer of the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands and member of the GLORIA Project. Daily broadcast from three different places in Greenland, between 23 and 25 August, will be transmitted: the surroundings of the Qaleraliq glacier, a farm called Tasiusaq, the town of Qasiarsuk, will be available on the web. Additional broadcasts from Hestheimar farm (South Iceland) will be on air between 26 and 28 August. Photos will be uploaded to a web album for one hour every day in real-time.

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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: iac.es, 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 users.gloria-project.eu

Pictures from the Lunar Eclipse expedition in Peru


Here are two shots summarising the Lunar Eclipse of April 15th, 2014. On the left, a frame from a starryearth.com video shot from the top of the Teide vulcano (see this YouTube video) with its shade pointing exactly to the partially eclipsed Moon (the small white spot at the head of the triangular dark zone). On the right the spectacular composition of the entire eclipse observed by a magic site, suspended between past and present: the access gate of the Inca fortress of Sacsayhuaman, place located North of Cusco, during the GLORIA project expedition to Peru.

Photo credits: Juan Carlos Casado e José Luis Quiñones

See the GLORIA Flickr album (more photos to be added soon).

Lunar eclipse from the land of the Inca


On April 15th, 2014 the moon will be eclipsed by the shadow of the earth. This marks the first of four eclipses occurring about 6 months part, called an eclipse tetrad. The last tetrad was a decade ago, and the next is not due until 2032.
The best eclipse visibility will be from North America and parts of South America. A team of GLORIA astronomers will celebrate this astronomical spectacle with a live broadcast from the city of Cusco, Peru, in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Throughout Europe, totality will not be visible. However the Teide volcano, at 3718m altitude on the island of Tenerife, offers an intriguing observational prospect. When a total lunar eclipse occurs close to sunrise or sunset at Teide, the shadow of the volcano aligns perfectly with the eclipsed moon. This unique phenomenon will be observable during the eclipse of April 15th and will be broadcast live.

For more information click here.
Press-release available here.
The event YouTube video.

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