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.

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 Flickr.
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 (

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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