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.
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.
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).
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.
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The nearest type Ia supernova in 400 years has been found in the Messier 82 (M82) galaxy. First spotted on 21 January 2014, it is relatively close to Earth, about 11.4 million light years away!
This supernova is called SN2014J (the 10th supernova discovered so far during 2014), and is a rare kind. “Type Ia” supernovae (SNe) are believed to be caused by exploding white dwarf stars. These SNe explode with very predictable brightnesses, making them ideal ‘standard candles’ to measure distances to galaxies accurately.
Now that it has reached maximum brightness, around Jan 31 (with a magnitude in the R band of about 10), GLORIA will keep monitoring the SN2014J light-curve (along with other supernovae) for the next few months as part of the regular program conducted by some of the GLORIA partners. Indeed, many astronomical observatories worldwide (including space-borne facilities) will point to this unique target regularly over the coming weeks.
The birthday for someone, the graduation day for someone else. The day of your first kiss, or your first day of employment, or maybe the day of your last cigarette. Our lives are punctuated by memorable moments. But how was the sky directly above your head at those significant personal moments?
“Personal Space” is there to answer the question.
A free web-based application developed within the GLORIA project by Irish artist Emer O Boyle and astronomers Lorraine Hanlon, Martin Topinka (University College Dublin), and Robert Simpson (University of Oxford). Personal Space is an art science collaboration, one of a growing number of projects that re-connects the expertise of artists and scientists.
It turns the celestial sphere into a huge, boundless social network. Establishing direct and personal connections to the universe by linking significant events in your own life with what was above you in the sky at that moment. And with people all around the world who shared that portion of the sky with you.
“I am an astronomer, I have lots of reasons for looking at different bits of the sky. But what is the bit of the sky that is most obvious for people to look at? I am told by non-astronomer friends that you want to look directly up», said Robert Simpson. «So what is directly above my head right now? That is the idea behind Personal Space».
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.