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100 Hours of Astronomy Webcast Underway

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the unabashed-eye-candy dept.

Space 48

An anonymous reader writes "As part of the International Year of Astronomy, the live video webcast Around the World in 80 Telescopes is taking place now, with fascinating live linkups with the world's leading observatories. The schedule for the webcast is available as a PDF and the recorded videos are available via the 100 hours of astronomy page"

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That's no telescope... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27448955)

It's mountain-mounted goatse!!!

YAY! (1)

reidiq (1434945) | more than 5 years ago | (#27448963)

Finally something that can put me to sleep at night.

Re:YAY! (0)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 5 years ago | (#27449571)

Finally something that can put me to sleep at night.

Here, try watching this Bassmasters [wikipedia.org] . The current schedule at http://sports.espn.go.com/outdoors/tv/news/story?page=g_tv_desc_bass_reairs [go.com] .

Reminds me of the comedian who wondered what it was like to be the show producer / editor for Bassmasters and having to watch 10 hours of tape for every 1-hour episode.... "No... no... no... wait, yes, bait the hook, no... no...

ISS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27449009)

Was anyone else (non-astronomers) as disappointed as I was in finally seeing the ISS drifting by? I put all this effort into figuring out exactly where it was going to be, and then it just looked like a bright spot moving slowly by in the hazy sky. I guess it didn't help that it was close to the horizon over downtown Phoenix, but still!

Re:ISS (5, Insightful)

LordSnooty (853791) | more than 5 years ago | (#27449489)

If you've got no imagination then yes, I suppose you'd find it disappointing. Me, I found it awe-inspiring, to think that this is a craft with up to six people on it, shooting across the sky at an incredible rate (30 minutes before it was on the other side of the world). Seeing the Shuttle just ahead of it, moving at the same speed on the same plane was the icing on the cake.

What were you expecting, dancing girls and a cool laser show?

Re:ISS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27454315)

Not a laser show, but certainly I was expecting dancing girls.

Re:ISS (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 5 years ago | (#27449521)

I hate to break it to you but that's pretty much what it looks like from anywhere else on Earth.

And just to forewarn you a bit, if you go to your local amateur astronomy observatory and expect to see through a telescope what you see on the Astronomy Picture of the Day website [nasa.gov] you're going to be in for even more of a disappointment.

Real astronomy isn't like what the movies show. It's unfortunate that you can't find the wonder in seeing what's essentially a few school buses tied together traveling at ~18000 MPH from a few hundred miles away. I guess some people really do need the eye candy.

Re:ISS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27449899)

I agree, I think IIS is the best web server platform available. Microsoft does a great job pushing out new features, and bugs are always stomped out with quick, timely patches. Personally, I have 5 different websites up and running with IIS solidly performing in the background. It's great for a mid-size business owner like myself. We have only experienced 25% downtime! I highly recommend IIS.

Re:ISS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27450163)

I put all this effort into figuring out exactly where it was going to be

You typed your zipcode into online submission form?

As stated it is a marvel that something man made, with life support for 6+ people has sustained human life in the upper limits of the earth's atmosphere for 11 years. In my book that is about as cool as it gets.

Log back into WoW.

Re:ISS (1)

Palpitations (1092597) | more than 5 years ago | (#27451263)

You typed your zipcode into online submission form?

To be fair, that tells you when it will be overhead. You may still need to break out a compass with an inclinometer to find out where to actually expect it, and that can be a bit of work I suppose.

Of course, if you can get your bearings, you can make good estimations using nothing more than your own hands [austinastro.org] . Last time I tried (it's been a few years, come to think of it), I was able to estimate alt/az to within about 3-5 degrees... Not as good as many, but good enough for most things. Not everyone seems able to figure that out, though.

This is the worst mixed metaphor in measurement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27449025)

Since the Kessel Run in 8 parsecs.

Re:This is the worst mixed metaphor in measurement (1)

psicop (229507) | more than 5 years ago | (#27454087)

It was actually 'under 12 parsecs'

The Kessel Run is an 18 parsec route.

A parsec is equal to roughly 3.26 light years.

"The simple truth is that interstellar distances will not fit into the human imagination"...

Crap. What a way to find out my imagination is non human.

Year of Astronomy... (0, Offtopic)

jw3 (99683) | more than 5 years ago | (#27449169)

Interesting. There are several anniversaries related to Charles Darwin this year, including 150 years from the publication of the "Origin of Species", and we are celebrating... year of Astronomy?

j.

Re:Year of Astronomy... (3, Informative)

ajs (35943) | more than 5 years ago | (#27449357)

150 years since the publication of OoS just doesn't seem all that interesting to me. 400 years is a much rounder number.

In the year 2009, the world will celebrate the International Year of Astronomy as it commemorates the 400th anniversary of Galileoâ(TM)s use of a telescope to study the skies, and Keplerâ(TM)s publication of Astronomia Nova. 2009 is also the anniversary of many other historic events in science, including Huygenâ(TM)s 1659 publication of Systema Saturnium.This will be modern astronomyâ(TM)s quadricentennial, and the 2009 Year of Astronomy will be an international celebration of numerous astronomical and scientific milestones.

-- http://astronomy2009.us/ [astronomy2009.us]

Re:Year of Astronomy... (1)

ajs (35943) | more than 5 years ago | (#27449389)

Bah! Sorry about the character issues. Why Slashdot uses ISO-8859-1 instead of UTF-8 encoding, I have absolutely no clue. Follow the link, though, it has lots of good info.

Re:Year of Astronomy... (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27449639)

Yeah, 150 years since OoS.
64 years since the first computer,
62 years since transistors were invented,
51 years since integrated circuits were invented,
38 years since Intel invented the 4004,
31 years since the first Apple ][s,
28 years since the first IBM PC,
25 years since the first Mac,
17 years since Bill and Lynne Jolitz released 386bsd,
And 17 years since Ken Thompson invented UTF-8.
But in the 21st Century, Slashdot still uses fricken ASCII

Re:Year of Astronomy... (1)

ajs (35943) | more than 5 years ago | (#27472101)

Actually, they're not using ASCII, they're using ISO-Latin-1, which, to be fair, is the default Western character set, so it's not totally unreasonable, just unfortunate for those of us who expect UTF-8 to be the default.

Re:Year of Astronomy... (2, Interesting)

east coast (590680) | more than 5 years ago | (#27449423)

Feel free to celebrate Darwin all you want. Nothing is there to stop you. Why is there this pervasive attitude around here that we have to choose one or another?

If I had to choose I would still go for astronomy. I bet you that astronomy has spurred many more people into taking up an interest in science more than evolution could ever imagine. Why do you think the vast majority of all science fiction is based on space? The rallying points for science set out there for the public needs to get a hold of people's imagination. Astronomy does that in spades.

Re:Year of Astronomy... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27449561)

Why do you think the vast majority of all science fiction is based on space?

Because alien chicks can have any arbitrary number of boobs.

Re:Year of Astronomy... (1)

JCY2K (852841) | more than 5 years ago | (#27451207)

Alien chicks do not have an arbitrary number of boobs; the number of breasts on a female alien is given by the formula Breasts = 2 + f(film) f(text) = 1 if the film in question is Total Recall and 0 otherwise.

Re:Year of Astronomy... (1)

lessthanpi (1333061) | more than 5 years ago | (#27451783)

Wow. Then in the future there will also be an arbitrary number of STDs

Re:Year of Astronomy... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27449657)

Interesting. There are several anniversaries related to Charles Darwin this year, including 150 years from the publication of the "Origin of Species", and we are celebrating... year of Astronomy?

150 years isn't that significant an anniversary. Wait another 50 years and we'll build a shrine. Not to mention this is the month of Easter, when we should really be focussed on Jesus Christ who died and was resurrected nigh on two millenia ago. Did you die on the cross for the sins of mankind? [youtube.com]

Re:Year of Astronomy... (1)

YttriumOxide (837412) | more than 5 years ago | (#27455745)

Not to mention this is the month of Easter, when we should really be focussed on Jesus Christ who died and was resurrected nigh on two millenia ago.

But a significant percentage of the population don't believe that Jesus Christ existed (or, if he did, that the stories about him are true). Pretty much everyone accepts that both Darwin and Galileo existed and did do what it is said they did - even those who disagree with their findings/thoughts/ideas.

Re:Year of Astronomy... (0)

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Re:Year of Astronomy... (1)

SkyDude (919251) | more than 5 years ago | (#27450503)

The IYA celebrates the 400th year of telescopic astronomy, which Galileo is credited with being the first to do.

Re:Year of Astronomy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27457631)

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...and my wife makes another media appearance! (1)

wwphx (225607) | more than 5 years ago | (#27449509)

She did Mythbusters' Apollo Landing Hoax episode last January (Dr. Russet McMillan, the APOLLO lunar laser stuff at the end) and now this! She's heading up the mountain this evening to do the Apache Point segment, but I understand they're having feed issues, so hard to say if the webcast portion is going to work very well. I'll probably wait and watch post-event streams.

(she did something else television-wise this January, but we can't talk about it and don't know when it will air)

Re:...and my wife makes another media appearance! (1)

dogeatery (1305399) | more than 5 years ago | (#27453779)

someone on /. has managed to find time alone with a woman?

Seriously, though, I wish my girl had doctor in front of her name...

Re:...and my wife makes another media appearance! (1)

wwphx (225607) | more than 5 years ago | (#27457125)

Well, she found me online. For the most part, by definition, astronomers live in pretty remote areas, and the dating pool was kind of limited. She expanded her search radius on the dating site that we used and she found me!

We were married about 18 months later, and we're celebrating our 4th anniversary in 3 months.

Amongst the many cool things, she's a gamer (she beat me to L80 in WoW because she has more free time with her work schedule), a movie buff, a foodie (lots of astronomers are, you can't call Papa John's when you're an hour and 30 miles away in twisty mountain roads) and I've corrupted her and she's punning occasionally.

It's been very good for us.

Great stream - relevant, entertaining, educational (2, Insightful)

JehosaPhat (1463031) | more than 5 years ago | (#27450169)

This is a fantastic idea, and a wonderful implementation. . . . not to mention that it is a great use of internet video streaming. Compared to all much the inane video junk available, this is truly educational and engrossing. When my kids get home form school in an hour or so, I am confident that this will be a wonderful for them to get exposed to contemporary science issues without realizing they are being more than just 'entertained'. Thank you for the post.

Re:Great stream - relevant, entertaining, educatio (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27450783)

I am looking at the stream right now and its very interesting. Its interesting to see whats possible with modern technology (stream itself & all the telescopes) !

Re:Great stream - relevant, entertaining, educatio (1)

pallmall1 (882819) | more than 5 years ago | (#27451265)

Compared to all much the inane video junk available, this is truly educational and engrossing.

All those pop-up ads in the stream are really enlightening. Like the one about losing ugly belly fat that popped up while two bozos were talking about stars or some shit. The guy on the right was fat, and I'll bet he could really use the knowledge contained in that engrossing ad.

Yeah, this is stream is really driven by the desire educate people.

Ustream? Aw man... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27450501)

I get lagged video followed closely by jammed video. Sound continues to stream. Will the IAU release these later on a service like YouTube that works for far more people?

Look! Up in the sky! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27450665)

Nothing more, just that.

gn44 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27450929)

I have a .life to rival distribution, end, we need you Spot when done For

Space (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27451141)

The final frontier...

Flash ads distracting and annoying (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 5 years ago | (#27451423)

I keep having to click the close box on these asinine ads that block the bottom 3rd of the window. Anyone else finding them distracting?

Re:Flash ads distracting and annoying (1)

JehosaPhat (1463031) | more than 5 years ago | (#27453455)

Yes, distracting. At first I didn't really notice it, but after a while it just got worse and worse. Even though there is some good stuff in there, I don't thnk I'll be watching it for more than a few minutes, much less 100 hours!

365 days of Astronomy Podcast (2, Interesting)

coastwalker (307620) | more than 5 years ago | (#27452645)

Enjoying the video stream, never realised there were so many observatories doing cool stuff. Also try the excellent podcast stream, one per day for the rest of the year.
http://365daysofastronomy.org/ [365daysofastronomy.org]
(Yes I bought the tee shirt)

Re:365 days of Astronomy Podcast (2, Informative)

wwphx (225607) | more than 5 years ago | (#27457191)

Off-hand, I know of five in Southern/Central New Mexico: Apache Point, National Solar Observatory at Sun Spot, Very Large Array, Magdalena Ridge, the former Liquid Mirror Telescope installation just outside of Cloudcroft. There's also New Mexico Skies east of Cloudcroft, but that's a for-profit venture with large amateur models.

In Arizona, you've got Kitt Peak, Mount Graham, Lowell Observatory (Pluto discoverer), there's at least 1 more in Southern AZ but I can't think of the name. And usually these have multiple telescopes: Apache Point has my wife's 3.5 meter, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey 2 meter, and 1 meter and a .75(IIRC) meter, but the point is it has two haard-core science-grade installations, and it could get a third.

The important thing is the site. The spend, just surveying the sky optical quality, over a year studying it. Then the soil/geology studies. Can we build a big enough road up to it? Is there close enough housing and facilities? And a huge list of etceteras. So there's a lot more telescopes than there area observatories.

And they also have a pretty good size IT infrastructure with LOTS of linux admin geekery and programming to be done in a lot of different environments because each instrument's controlling computer is created by that instrument's scientists, so they talk in a number of different crazy ways. Apparently it's quite a challenge being an admin up there, I certainly don't have the chops for it (I'm a database guy).

And of course, they snub the scope I'm at! (1)

Shag (3737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27453919)

I've worked at Gemini in the past. I've worked at UKIRT in the past. The two nights immediately preceding the event, I worked at Keck (although on the summit, not like those webcasting wimps down in Waimea). But every night of the webcast, I'm working at the UH 2.2-meter, formerly known as "THE Mauna Kea Observatory," which somehow managed to not get a slot - my boss claims there were a limited number of slots available and the bigger scopes snagged them all - and then get overlooked completely in the press releases that say "all" the Mauna Kea observatories were involved. Hmph.

So, rather than lull you to sleep with 15 minutes of video, how about a bullet list?
* First large telescope to be fully computer-controlled.
* Second large telescope to have computer control work properly. ;)
* Kuiper belt discovered here (1992 QB1, Dave Jewitt and Jane Luu)
* 45 of known 63 moons of Jupiter discovered here (Scott Sheppard, 2000-2004)
* "Main-Belt Comets" class of solar system bodies defined here (Henry Hsieh)
* Size and mass of transiting exoplanets measured 4x more accurately here (John A. Johnson)
* 50-60% of all announced supernova discoveries the last few years made here (Nearby Supernova Factory)

My operating shift this time features:
April 2 - Nick Moskovitz taking asteroid light curves in preparation for some Spitzer time
April 3 - Nearby Supernova Factory
April 4 - Dave Tholen, discoverer of the asteroid Apophis (remember to duck in 2029/2036)
April 5 - Eric Gaidos, UH geology and geophysics professor

Re:And of course, they snub the scope I'm at! (1)

wwphx (225607) | more than 5 years ago | (#27457133)

Very cool! Sorry to hear your scope got sorta snubbed, my wife just did the Apache Point segment. I don't know how many discoveries they've had, but they are also the home to the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, which was recently recognized (IIRC) as being the most used source for astronomy data for publications last year. But I'm probably somewhat off on that quote, been sick recently and just don't remember.

I wish this event was given more exposure... (1)

lazy_nihilist (1220868) | more than 5 years ago | (#27454409)

Superb event, utilizing the power of streaming internet video to educate the people and inspire many more. I only came across this because of seeing the slashdot article, but I wish I saw this event being advertized/publicized on some news websites or on T.V.

Does not work in Linux (1)

slick_rick (193080) | more than 5 years ago | (#27454531)

The UStream.tv stuff seems broken. None if it will play with FF on Linux even with the Flash 9 player installed.

They must be worried about drm. :-( (1)

nitro77 (1454233) | more than 5 years ago | (#27455939)

They do not have caching enabled. I have a slow internet connection. It is unwatchable. I get:

I am here at Ke.....ck observatory to sh....ow you what we d.......o here.

If they enable caching watch it. I could at least start the video several minutes early. That way I could at least understand it. But then, Oh no, I could capture the cache.

I am sorry I cannot watch it. I am sure it is very interesting. This is very lame.

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Moon Phase? (1)

AustinPoke (1321985) | more than 5 years ago | (#27475299)

I would like to know who scheduled the 100 hours of astronomy while the moon was half full. If they wanted to look at the moon only (as it makes it near impossible to see deep space objects that are very interesting) why didn't they schedule it during a full moon. If they wanted to see deep space objects they should have chosen to have it during a new moon. Instead the worst of both worlds was chosen. This feels like a typical political decision.

Re:Moon Phase? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27481559)

I would like to know who scheduled the 100 hours of astronomy while the moon was half full. If they wanted to look at the moon only (as it makes it near impossible to see deep space objects that are very interesting) why didn't they schedule it during a full moon.

Detail on the Moon is best seen near the "terminator", the line where light and dark meet. The shadows there from the low-angle illumination make the features stand out. You see very little detail during full Moon. First and last quarter ("half full") are the best phases for seeing features on the Moon and the dates were chosen specifically for the best viewing of the Moon.

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