Latest Observatory Stories

2010-01-14 10:50:05

Astronomers have found a giant magnetic loop stretched outward from one of the stars making up the famous double-star system Algol. The scientists used an international collection of radio telescopes to discover the feature, which may help explain details of previous observations of the stellar system. "This is the first time we've seen a feature like this in the magnetic field of any star other than the Sun," said William Peterson, of the University of Iowa. The pair, 93 light-years from...

2009-11-26 09:27:00

PARIS, November 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva, permanent representative of the Republic of Uzbekistan to UNESCO and founder of Fund Uzbekistan 2020, opened today, the International Astronomy Conference held in Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris - CNRS, "A tribute to the Uzbek astronomer Mirzo Ulughbeg". The event, which gathered scientists, astronomers, historians and scholars of high rank, began with welcome speeches of Laurent Vigroux, Director of the Institut...

2009-10-29 13:05:00

Many of us have been rescued from unfamiliar territory by directions from a Global Positioning System (GPS) navigator. GPS satellites send signals to a receiver in your GPS navigator, which calculates your position based on the location of the satellites and your distance from them. The distance is determined by how long it took the signals from various satellites to reach your receiver. The system works well, and millions rely on it every day, but what tells the GPS satellites where they are...

2009-09-29 06:45:00

This summer, University of Florida astronomers inaugurated the world's largest optical telescope on a nearly 8,000-foot mountaintop 3,480 miles away. But it was a far more modest observatory, located just above sea level in rural Levy County and just down the road from the UF campus, that proved key to a new discovery about what one astronomer termed "one of the weirdest" planets outside our solar system. Three UF astronomers are among the authors of a paper that will appear Thursday in...

2009-09-21 08:25:00

The second of three images of ESO's GigaGalaxy Zoom project has just been released online. It is a new and wonderful 340-million-pixel vista of the central parts of our home galaxy as seen from ESO's Paranal Observatory with an amateur telescope. This 34 by 20-degree wide image provides us with a view as experienced by amateur astronomers around the world. However, its incredible beauty and appeal owe much to the quality of the observing site and the skills of St©phane Guisard, the...

2009-09-03 13:35:48

Australian and U.S. astronomers looking for the best observatory site in the world have found the coldest, driest and calmest place on Earth in the Antarctic. The astronomers combined data from satellites, ground stations and climate models to assess the many factors affecting astronomy -- cloud cover, temperature, sky-brightness, water vapor, wind speeds and atmospheric turbulence. The site, known as Ridge A, is located at an altitude of 13,297 feet on the Antarctic Plateau. No human is...

2009-09-03 07:46:25

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution says it will soon begin construction of ocean observatories at various U.S. coastal sites and other locations. An agreement concerning the project was signed Wednesday by officials of the institution, the National Science Foundation and the Consortium for Ocean Leadership. The ocean observatories will be located off southern New England, Oregon and Washington, as well as at high latitude open ocean sites in the Atlantic, Pacific and Southern Oceans....

2009-08-31 10:50:12

The search for the best observatory site in the world has lead to the discovery of what is thought to be the coldest, driest, calmest place on Earth. No human is thought to have ever been there but it is expected to yield images of the heavens three times sharper than any ever taken from the ground.The joint US-Australian research team combined data from satellites, ground stations and climate models in a study to assess the many factors that affect astronomy "“ cloud cover,...

2009-05-26 13:04:00

Servicing complete on Hubble Telescope - observatory equipped for final round of discoveries HOUSTON, May 26 /PRNewswire/ -- The Coalition for Space Exploration, the leading collaboration of space industry businesses and advocacy groups, announced today the release of a statement by board member Steve Hawley, a former astronaut on five space shuttle missions, two involving the deployment and servicing of the Hubble Space Telescope. (Logo:...

2009-05-25 08:55:00

ESO's Very Large Telescope "” Europe's flagship facility for ground-based astronomy "” has been equipped with the first of its second generation instruments: X-shooter. It can record the entire spectrum of a celestial object in one shot "” from the ultraviolet to the near-infrared "” with high sensitivity. This unique new instrument will be particularly useful for the study of distant exploding objects called gamma-ray bursts. "X-shooter offers a capability that is...

Latest Observatory Reference Libraries

2004-10-19 04:45:43

Very Large Telescope -- The Very Large Telescope (VLT) consist of four optical telescopes that have 8.4 meter aperture. The VLT is a project of the European Southern Observatory organization. It is located at the Paranal Observatory on Cerro Paranal, a 2,635-m high mountain in the Atacama desert in northern Chile. The VLT consists of a cluster four of large telescopes, and an interferometer (VLTI) which will be used to resolve fine features. The telescopes have been named after the...

2004-10-19 04:45:43

Radio Telescope -- In contrast to an ordinary telescope, which produces visible light images, a radio telescope "sees" radio waves emitted by radio sources located anywhere in the Universe, typically by means of a large parabolic ("dish") antenna, or arrays of them. The best-known (and largest) radio telescope is in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. A well-known radio telescope being an array of antennae is the Very Large Array (VLA) in Socorro, New Mexico. The largest (100-meter diameter) and most...

2004-10-19 04:45:40

Keck Observatory -- From a remote outpost on the summit of Hawaii's dormant Mauna Kea volcano, astronomers at the W.M. Keck Observatory probe the deepest regions of the Universe with unprecedented power and precision. Their instruments are the twin Keck Telescopes, the world's largest optical and and infrared telescopes. Each stands eight stories tall and weighs 300 tons, yet operates with nanometer precision. At the heart of each Keck Telescope is a revolutionary primary mirror. Ten...

2004-10-19 04:45:40

Jodrell Bank Observatory -- The Jodrell Bank Observatory, near Macclesfield, Cheshire in the north west of England is a part of the University of Manchester. It has played an important part in the research into quasars and pulsars, as well as the first detection of a gravitational lens in 1979, confirming one of Einstein's theories. It was established in 1945 by Dr. Bernard Lovell, who wanted to investigate cosmic rays after his work on radar in World War II. The first radio...

2004-10-19 04:45:40

European Southern Observatory -- ESO, the European Southern Observatory, was created in 1962 to: "establish and operate an astronomical observatory in the southern hemisphere, equipped with powerful instruments, with the aim of furthering and organising collaboration in astronomy". ESO is supported by Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom. Other countries have expressed interest to become a member as well. ESO...

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Word of the Day
  • A spider.
  • Figuratively, a peevish, testy, ill-natured person.
'Attercop' comes from the Old English 'atorcoppe,' where 'atter' means 'poison, venom' and‎ 'cop' means 'spider.' 'Coppa' is a derivative of 'cop,' top, summit, round head, or 'copp,' cup, vessel, which refers to 'the supposed venomous properties of spiders,' says the OED. 'Copp' is still found in the word 'cobweb.'