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).
After more than a year without Total Solar Eclipses (the last was on November 3, 2013), the one occurring on March 20, 2015 will see the shadow of the Moon touching Earth’s surface only in two arctic lands: Faroe and Svalbard Islands.
From Europe only a partial eclipse can be observed, with the peak of solar disk occultation occurring in Iceland, Ireland, Scotland and Norway. In north Spain the solar disk coverage will be about 70%.
Shelios and GLORIA have chosen as final destination for the Eclipse watching the Faroe Islands (Denmark), located in the heart of the “Gulf Stream” in the North Atlantic (62° N) northwest of Scotland, halfway between Norway and Iceland. The expedition is coordinated by Dr. Miquel Serra-Ricart (IAC).
The eclipse observing site will be the Centre for Maritime Studies (University of the Faroe Islands) located in the archipelago’s capital, Torshavn. The event will be transmitted live on the sky-live.tv website.
The total duration of the eclipse is 2h 14m. The totality duration at Faroe Islands will be 2m 46s. However the live broadcasting will last 15 minutes in total. There will be two live connections on March 20th:
More information about the broadcasting can be found here.
Press release here.
Can find more information about the eclipse at F. Espenack’s website – NASA.
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!
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.
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, euronear.imcce.fr) 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 (users.gloria-project.eu). The putative position was calculated through a circular orbit approximation. The final report was sent to the Minor Planet Center (MPC – minorplanetcenter.net). 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.
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.
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.
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).
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.