It’s all been happening in astronomy recently, and I’ve been somehow left behind. Some quick snippets then:
The Bootes 3 telescope in New Zealand:
Located in the Blenheim vineyard of astronomer Bill Allen, the Bootes-3 Observatory is part of the BOOTES (Burst Observer and Optical Transient Exploring System) experiment, a network of similar observatories in Spain. Dr Alberto Castro-Tirado, from the Andalusian Institute of Astrophysics in Granada, leads the BOOTES group and says that having the New Zealand telescope will greatly enhance the number of gamma ray bursts (GRBs) able to be tracked.
Astronomy software for the iPhone and iPod touch:
Star Walk is your realistic guide for star gazing. Whenever you admire the starry night sky, Star Walk helps you to recognize anonymous heavenly bodies. Just find them on your interactive star map and tap “i” to retrieve useful information, such as celestial coordinates of these heavenly bodies. Don’t be afraid to get overloaded by tons of specific terms. Star Walk is not for scientific use but for learning something new playfully. The cutting-edge graphics and smooth moving/scaling make your work with Star Walk pleasant and easy. You do not need a manual for using Star Walk because of its intuitive interface.
[Via : Star Walk | Astronomy 2009.]
I’ve downloaded and installed …
2 to 5 April 2009, 100 Hours of Astronomy:
100 hours of Astronomy is a 100 hour, round-the-clock, round-the-globe event, including live web casts from research observatories, public sidewalk observing events and other activities to celebrate the International Year of Astronomy 2009. One of the key goals of this event is to allow as many people as possible to look through a telescope — day or night, just as Galileo did some 400 years ago.
[Via : 100 Hours of Astronomy – IYA2009NZ.]
Check the site to see what’s happening near you these next couple of days.
A cheap telescope, but a good one:
The Galileoscope™ is a high-quality, low-cost telescope kit developed for the International Year of Astronomy 2009 by a team of leading astronomers, optical engineers, and science educators. No matter where you live, with this easy-to-assemble, 50-mm (2-inch) diameter, 25- to 50-power achromatic refractor, you can see the celestial wonders that Galileo Galilei first glimpsed 400 years ago and that still delight stargazers today. These include lunar craters and mountains, four moons circling Jupiter, the phases of Venus, Saturn’s rings, and countless stars invisible to the unaided eye. The Galileoscope costs just US$15 each plus shipping for 1 to 99 units, or US$12.50 each plus shipping for 100 or more. Kits will start shipping in late April 2009.
And the Galileoscope is even available in New Zealand, for approx NZ$30 plus postage. Ordered.