Distribution by Scientific Domains
Distribution within Physics and Astronomy

Kinds of Astronomy

  • radio astronomy

  • Selected Abstracts

    Polarimetry in Solar and Stellar Physics , Techniques, Observations and Diagnostics

    Horst BalthasarArticle first published online: 18 JUL 200
    D01 Split Pupil Imaging Polarimeters for Optical Night Time Astronomy D02 The Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) for the LBT D03 Velocity and Magnetic Fields in Sunspot Penumbrae at Hight Spatial and Spectral Resolution D04 Infrared Polarimetry at the MPAe: The Solar Atmosphere from the Photosphere to the Upper Chromosphere D05 Properties of a Simple Sunspot Observed in the Near Infrared D06 Hausdorff-Dimension of Magnetic Structures D07 Distribution of the Magnetic Flux Density at the Solar Surface [source]

    NRC Decadal Survey optimistic

    ASTRONOMY & GEOPHYSICS, Issue 5 2010
    Article first published online: 17 SEP 2010
    The US National Research Council has released a measured but optimistic Decadal Survey for Astronomy and Astrophysics 2010. [source]

    Outreach after IYA2009 , a school project

    ASTRONOMY & GEOPHYSICS, Issue 4 2010
    Article first published online: 23 JUL 2010
    International Year of Astronomy 2009 was a catalyst for astronomical societies and groups worldwide to do a bit more to engage the general public , but in many cases IYA2009 was only the start of a new enthusiasm for astronomy. This is the case for one state secondary school, whose outreach work is going from strength to strength. [source]

    The International Year of Ast ronomy 2009

    ASTRONOMY & GEOPHYSICS, Issue 1 2010
    Article first published online: 14 JAN 2010
    Ian Robson and Steve Owens give a whistle-stop tour of what went on during the International Year of Astronomy 2009, especially in the UK. [source]

    Putting a stamp on Britain

    ASTRONOMY & GEOPHYSICS, Issue 5 2009
    Article first published online: 18 SEP 200
    A new set of stamps on the theme of "Eminent Britons" will include an image of Sir Martin Ryle in front of his radio telescopes, also recognizing the International Year of Astronomy. [source]

    Profile: Robert C Kennicutt Jr

    ASTRONOMY & GEOPHYSICS, Issue 4 2009
    Article first published online: 20 JUL 200
    The Plumian Professor of Astronomy and Experimental Philosophy at the University of Cambridge, Director of the Institute of Astronomy, and winner of the 2009 Gruber Prize talks about teamwork, keeping ahead of the technology curve, and other challenges facing astrophysics and astrophysicists. [source]

    90 years on , the 1919 eclipse expedition at Príncipe

    ASTRONOMY & GEOPHYSICS, Issue 4 2009
    Richard Ellis
    Richard Ellis, Pedro G Ferreira, Richard Massey and Gisa Weszkalnys return to Príncipe in the International Year of Astronomy to celebrate the 1919 RAS expedition led by Sir Arthur Eddington. [source]

    Donate a telescope in IYA

    ASTRONOMY & GEOPHYSICS, Issue 2 2009
    Article first published online: 23 MAR 200
    For International Year of Astronomy 2009 there are several initiatives worldwide to get telescopes into the hands of more organizations, institutes, schools and individuals. In the UK, the Society for Popular Astronomy is organizing the distribution of 1000 telescopes to schools. [source]

    Astronomy at sea: on-board outreach

    ASTRONOMY & GEOPHYSICS, Issue 2 2009
    Francisco Diego
    Francisco Diego has some ideas and suggestions for outreach from his experience as RAS Lecturer on the Queen Mary 2 and the Queen Victoria. [source]

    UK Dark Skies Park mooted

    ASTRONOMY & GEOPHYSICS, Issue 1 2009
    Article first published online: 16 JAN 200
    International Year of Astronomy 2009 could be a springboard for all sorts of lasting achievements , not least wider appreciation of the value of dark skies. A first step could be the establishment of a Dark Skies Park in Europe. [source]

    Prof. Sir Arnold Wolfendale

    ASTRONOMY & GEOPHYSICS, Issue 1 2009
    Article first published online: 16 JAN 200
    The Award for Service to Astronomy is given to Prof. Sir Arnold Wolfendale of Durham University. [source]

    Astronomy at sea: Jim Wild's Cunard diary

    ASTRONOMY & GEOPHYSICS, Issue 1 2009
    Dr Jim Wild
    When I saw an item on the RAS website seeking speakers for Cunard's Insights Lecture Programme, I was interested immediately. A chance to travel on some of the most famous ocean liners in the world and talk about my science to an enthusiastic audience? It seemed churlish not to apply! [source]

    Telescopes in schools for IYA2009

    ASTRONOMY & GEOPHYSICS, Issue 1 2009
    Article first published online: 16 JAN 200
    The Society for Popular Astronomy, Royal Astronomical Society and Science and Technology Facilities Council have teamed up to give free telescopes to 1000 secondary schools. [source]

    Get ready: IYA2009 UK website up and running

    ASTRONOMY & GEOPHYSICS, Issue 5 2008
    Article first published online: 23 SEP 200
    As International Year of Astronomy 2009 approaches, the UK website is developing more features that make it easier to see what's planned for this science extravaganza. [source]

    Young scientists win Philip Leverhulme Prizes

    ASTRONOMY & GEOPHYSICS, Issue 1 2008
    Article first published online: 17 JAN 200
    Four young researchers have each received Ł70 000 for their research, in the form of the 2007 Philip Leverhulme Prizes for Astronomy and Astrophysics. [source]

    International Year of Astronomy 2009

    ASTRONOMY & GEOPHYSICS, Issue 4 2007
    Ian Robson
    IYA2009 will be a great opportunity for all of us working in astronomy (and space) to make an impact; certainly locally and nationally and, we hope, globally. So what is going on and how can you participate? Ian Robson has the answers. [source]

    Index to Astronomy & Geophysics Vol.44

    ASTRONOMY & GEOPHYSICS, Issue 6 2003
    Article first published online: 25 NOV 200
    Click HERE to view the article. [source]

    Index to Astronomy & Geophysics Vol.43

    ASTRONOMY & GEOPHYSICS, Issue 6 2002
    Article first published online: 9 DEC 200
    Click HERE to view the article. [source]

    Lacaille 250 years on

    ASTRONOMY & GEOPHYSICS, Issue 2 2002
    Brian Warner
    Brian Warner, Department of Astronomy, University of Cape Town, tells the story of Nicolas Louis de Lacaille's sojourn in South Africa. Two hundred and fifty years ago French astronomer Nicolas Louis de la Caille spent two years at the Cape of Good Hope, carrying out astronomical and geodetic observations that had long-lasting repercussions. His measurements of the positions of nearly 10 000 southern stars led to the definition of the southern constellations which are used to this day; his discrepant measurement of the radius of the Earth provided a challenge that took much 19th-century labour to rectify, but led to an accurate trigonometric survey of South Africa that would otherwise not have occurred until much later. [source]

    SPICeD: imaging the deep Earth

    ASTRONOMY & GEOPHYSICS, Issue 3 2001
    Michael Kendall FRAS
    Michael Kendall and George Helffrich respond to Alan Douglas's paper in the previous issue of Astronomy & Geophysics with a prototype three-component broadband seismic network for the UK. There are two boundaries in the Earth's deep interior that are as significant in terms of contrast in material properties and dynamics as the lithosphere,atmosphere boundary, where we live. The natures of the core-mantle boundary and the inner-core/outer-core boundary have significant implications for the stability of the Earth's magnetic field, style of convection, moment of inertia and length of day. An array of broadband three-component seismometers (SPICeD) spanning Scotland, England and France has been deployed with the aim of studying these dramatic interfaces within the Earth. A secondary aim of the deployment was to install a working prototype for a permanent three-component broadband seismic network in the UK, as advocated by Alan Douglas in the previous issue of this journal (Douglas 2001). [source]

    Acronycal Risings in Babylonian Astronomy

    CENTAURUS, Issue 2 2004
    Louise Hollywood
    First page of article [source]

    Virtual reality simulations in Web-based science education

    Young-Suk Shin
    Abstract This article presents the educational possibilities of Web-based science education using a desktop virtual reality (VR) system. A Web site devoted to science education for middle school students has been designed and developed in the areas of earth sciences: meteorology, geophysics, geology, oceanography, and astronomy. Learners can establish by themselves the pace of their lessons using learning contents considered learner level and they can experiment in real time with the concepts they have learned, interacting with VR environments that we provide. A VR simulation program developed has been evaluated with a questionnaire from learners after learning freely on the Web. This study shows that Web-based science education using VR can be effectively used as a virtual class. When we consider the rapid development of VR technology and lowering of cost, the study can construct more immersive environments for the education in the near future. © 2002 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Comput Appl Eng Educ 10: 18,25, 2002; Published online in Wiley InterScience (; DOI 10.1002/cae.10014 [source]

    Tangible Heritage: Production of Astrolabes on a Laser Engraver

    G. Zotti
    I.3.5 [Computer Graphics]: Computational geometry and object modelling , geometric algorithms, languages and systems; I.3.8 [Computer Graphics]: Applications Abstract The astrolabe, an analog computing device, used to be the iconic instrument of astronomers during the Middle Ages. It allowed a multitude of operations of practical astronomy which were otherwise cumbersome to perform in an epoch when mathematics had apparently almost been forgotten. Usually made from wood or sheet metal, a few hundred instruments, mostly from brass, survived until today and are valuable museum showpieces. This paper explains a procedural modelling approach for the construction of the classical kinds of astrolabes, which allows a wide variety of applications from plain explanatory illustrations to three-dimensional (3D) models, and even the production of working physical astrolabes usable for public or classroom demonstrations. [source]

    Territorial Behaviour and Communication in a Ritual Landscape

    Leif Sahlqvist
    Landscape research in the last decade, in human geography as well as in anthropology and archaeology, has often been polarized, either according to traditional geographical methods or following the principles of a new, symbolically orientated discipline. This cross,disciplinary study in prehistoric Östergötland, Sweden, demonstrates the importance of using methods and approaches from both orientations in order to gain reasonable comprehension of landscape history and territorial structure. Funeral monuments as cognitive nodes in a prehistoric cultural landscape are demonstrated as to contain significant elements of astronomy, not unlike what has been discussed for native and prehistoric American cultures, e.g. Ancestral Pueblo. A locational analysis with measurements of distances and directions was essential in approaching this structure. A nearest neighbour method was used as a starting,point for a territorial discussion, indicating that the North European hundreds division could have its roots in Bronze Age (1700,500 BC) tribal territories, linked to barrows geographically interrelated in cardinal alignments. In the European Bronze Age faith and science, the religious and the profane, were integrated within the framework of a solar cult, probably closely connected with astronomy in a ritual landscape, organized according to cosmological ideas, associated with power and territoriality. Cosmographic expression of a similar kind was apparently used even earlier, as gallery,graves (stone cists) from the Late Neolithic (2300,1700 BC) in Östergötland are also geographically interrelated in cardinal alignments. [source]

    An astronomical pattern-matching algorithm for computer-aided identification of whale sharks Rhincodon typus

    Summary 1The formulation of conservation policy relies heavily on demographic, biological and ecological knowledge that is often elusive for threatened species. Essential estimates of abundance, survival and life-history parameters are accessible through mark and recapture studies given a sufficiently large sample. Photographic identification of individuals is an established mark and recapture technique, but its full potential has rarely been exploited because of the unmanageable task of making visual identifications in large data sets. 2We describe a novel technique for identifying individual whale sharks Rhincodon typus through numerical pattern matching of their natural surface ,spot' colourations. Together with scarring and other markers, spot patterns captured in photographs of whale shark flanks have been used, in the past, to make identifications by eye. We have automated this process by adapting a computer algorithm originally developed in astronomy for the comparison of star patterns in images of the night sky. 3In tests using a set of previously identified shark images, our method correctly matched pairs exhibiting the same pattern in more than 90% of cases. From a larger library of previously unidentified images, it has to date produced more than 100 new matches. Our technique is robust in that the incidence of false positives is low, while failure to match images of the same shark is predominantly attributable to foreshortening in photographs obtained at oblique angles of more than 30°. 4We describe our implementation of the pattern-matching algorithm, estimates of its efficacy, its incorporation into the new ECOCEAN Whale Shark Photo-identification Library, and prospects for its further refinement. We also comment on the biological and conservation implications of the capability of identifying individual sharks across wide geographical and temporal spans. 5Synthesis and applications. An automated photo-identification technique has been developed that allows for efficient ,virtual tagging' of spotted animals. The pattern-matching software has been implemented within a Web-based library created for the management of generic encounter photographs and derived data. The combined capabilities have demonstrated the reliability of whale shark spot patterns for long-term identifications, and promise new ecological insights. Extension of the technique to other species is anticipated, with attendant benefits to management and conservation through improved understanding of life histories, population trends and migration routes, as well as ecological factors such as exploitation impact and the effectiveness of wildlife reserves. [source]

    Building a learning progression for celestial motion: Elementary levels from an earth-based perspective

    Julia D. Plummer
    Abstract Prior research has demonstrated that neither children nor adults hold a scientific understanding of the big ideas of astronomy, as described in standards documents for science education [National Research Council [1996]. National science education standards. Washington, DC: National Academy Press; American Association for the Advancement of Science 1993. Benchmarks for science literacy. New York: Oxford University Press]. This manuscript focuses on ideas in astronomy that are at the foundation of elementary students' understanding of the discipline: the apparent motion of the sun, moon, and stars as seen from an earth-based perspective. Lack of understanding of these concepts may hinder students' progress towards more advanced understanding in the domain. We have analyzed the logic of the domain and synthesized prior research assessing children's knowledge to develop a set of learning trajectories that describe how students' initial ideas about apparent celestial motion as they enter school can be built upon, through successively more sophisticated levels of understanding, to reach a level that aligns with the scientific view. Analysis of an instructional intervention with elementary students in the planetarium was used to test our initial construction of the learning trajectories. This manuscript presents a first look at the use of a learning progression framework in analyzing the structure of astronomy education. We discuss how this work may eventually lead towards the development and empirical testing of a full learning progression on the big idea: how children learn to describe and explain apparent patterns of celestial motion. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 47:768,787, 2010 [source]

    Silicon drift and pixel devices for X-ray imaging and spectroscopy

    G. Lutz
    Starting from the basic photon detection process in semiconductors, the function, principles and properties of sophisticated silicon detectors are discussed. These detectors are based on, or inspired by, the semiconductor drift detector. They have already shown their potential in X-ray astronomy (pn-CCD) and in X-ray spectroscopy (silicon drift diode), and further detector types (DEPFET pixel detector and macro-pixel detector) are under development for several other future experiments. The detectors seem to be very well suited for synchrotron radiation experiments. [source]

    Proportion of non-zero normal means: universal oracle equivalences and uniformly consistent estimators

    Jiashun Jin
    Summary., Since James and Stein's seminal work, the problem of estimating n normal means has received plenty of enthusiasm in the statistics community. Recently, driven by the fast expansion of the field of large-scale multiple testing, there has been a resurgence of research interest in the n normal means problem. The new interest, however, is more or less concentrated on testing n normal means: to determine simultaneously which means are 0 and which are not. In this setting, the proportion of the non-zero means plays a key role. Motivated by examples in genomics and astronomy, we are particularly interested in estimating the proportion of non-zero means, i.e. given n independent normal random variables with individual means Xj,N(,j,1), j=1,,,n, to estimate the proportion ,n=(1/n) #{j:,j /= 0}. We propose a general approach to construct the universal oracle equivalence of the proportion. The construction is based on the underlying characteristic function. The oracle equivalence reduces the problem of estimating the proportion to the problem of estimating the oracle, which is relatively easier to handle. In fact, the oracle equivalence naturally yields a family of estimators for the proportion, which are consistent under mild conditions, uniformly across a wide class of parameters. The approach compares favourably with recent works by Meinshausen and Rice, and Genovese and Wasserman. In particular, the consistency is proved for an unprecedentedly broad class of situations; the class is almost the largest that can be hoped for without further constraints on the model. We also discuss various extensions of the approach, report results on simulation experiments and make connections between the approach and several recent procedures in large-scale multiple testing, including the false discovery rate approach and the local false discovery rate approach. [source]

    John Wiley & Sons: 200th anniversary!

    Andreas Thoß Dr.
    This year, the publisher John Wiley & Sons celebrates its 200th anniversary. When Charles Wiley first opened his print shop in lower Manhattan in 1807, America was a young nation, full of potential and seeking its cultural identity on the global stage. Wiley was there, contributing to the emerging American literary tradition by publishing such great 19th century American writers as James Fenimore Cooper, Washington Irving, Herman Melville, and Edgar Allan Poe. Later on, Wiley published the works of outstanding European writers such as Hans Christian Andersen, Charles Dickens, John Ruskin, and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Yet, during the second industrial revolution , and its resulting knowledge revolution , Wiley abandoned its literary programme to pursue knowledge publishing for a global community. Today Wiley publishes a broad variety of journals, encyclopedias, books, and online products. The spectrum reaches from medicine to astronomy, from trade journals to consumer books and it includes educational materials for students as well as for lifelong learners. Since 1807, the world has seen 41 U.S. Presidents, but there have only been ten Wiley Presidents. Today, Wiley is a publicly held, independently managed family business. That is the formula of success that has sustained the company for two centuries. In 2007 Wiley is one of the major global publishers with more than one billion dollar revenue and about 3.900 employees. This will increase even more, when the acquisition of Blackwell Publishing will be completed in 2007. Aged only three years, the Laser Technik Journal is one of the youngest among the Wiley Journals. But it fits well in the history of Wiley. Thomas Alva Edison, the "Wizard of Menlo Park", held William H. Wiley in high regard, and so there is a long tradition of close contacts between the publishing house and the engineering community. The purpose of the journals has changed little: Our mission is to provide the community with up to date information on the latest in technology, reports and discussions on trends and markets, and finally the journal serves as a forum for key people from science and business to share their visions and experiences. 2007 will be a great year not only for Wiley, but for the laser community as well. Company reports from Coherent, Trumpf or Rofin Sinar show two-digit growths and excellent earnings. Record numbers are expected also at conferences and trade shows. At Photonics West in San Jose, CA, 1.000 exhibitors and more than 15.000 visitors are expected. The Laser. World of Photonics 2007 in Munich (June) will be even bigger. It is a "can't miss" event particularly for those visitors interested in Laser material processing. The Laser Technik Journal will be on both shows. Please stop by at the Wiley booth, for a chat or to see the latest from the Wiley book program! [source]

    The age, metallicity and ,-element abundance of Galactic globular clusters from single stellar population models

    Jon T. Mendel
    ABSTRACT Establishing the reliability with which stellar population parameters can be measured is vital to extragalactic astronomy. Galactic globular clusters (GCs) provide an excellent medium in which to test the consistency of single stellar population (SSP) models as they should be our best analogue to a homogeneous (single) stellar population. Here we present age, metallicity and ,-element abundance measurements for 48 Galactic GCs as determined from integrated spectra using Lick indices and SSP models from Thomas, Maraston & Korn, Lee & Worthey and Vazdekis et al. By comparing our new measurements to independent determinations we are able to assess the ability of these SSPs to derive consistent results , a key requirement before application to heterogeneous stellar populations like galaxies. We find that metallicity determinations are extremely robust, showing good agreement for all models examined here, including a range of enhancement methods. Ages and ,-element abundances are accurate for a subset of our models, with the caveat that the range of these parameters in Galactic GCs is limited. We are able to show that the application of published Lick index response functions to models with fixed abundance ratios allows us to measure reasonable ,-element abundances from a variety of models. We also examine the age,metallicity and [,/Fe],metallicity relations predicted by SSP models, and characterize the possible effects of varied model horizontal branch morphology on our overall results. [source]