Monday, March 24, 2008

The Smallest Telescope Detects the Largest Cosmic Explosion

Good things do come in small packages.

A small telescope, with a 71mm (2.75") aperture (diameter) is responsible for detecting a star explosion and resulting Gamma Ray Burst (GRB). The GRB, registered as GRB080319B occurred 7.5 Billion light years across the known universe and was discovered by an organization called "Pi of the Sky", a group of Polish Physicists, mathematicians, and graduate students that look at specific portions of the sky for GRB events. The operation is managed in Warsaw, Poland, but the cameras are physically located at the Las Campanas, Chile observatory.

'Pi of the Sky' currently covers a 20 deg. X 20 deg. portion of sky, but has plans to extend optical capabilities to simultaneously cover 1/3 of the visible sky.

Here is the Internet link to the 'Pi of the Sky' news release with an animation of the GRB event:


@ NEW Telescope Curse !

I have been hit by the NEW TELESCOPE curse. In other words: "It has been cloudy every night I have been home to use my telescope since First Light". Hopefully, I will be able to get out soon. I am trying to capture a picture of the "Leo Triplets" (three galaxies, including M66, located in the constellation Leo) to enter in a photo contest. The contest closing date is 03/31/2008.

@@ Almost Heaven Star Party 2008

Yeehaw! Git yer campin' gear reddy and dust off the John Denver 8-tracks, cuz the Almost Heaven Star Party (AHSP) 2008 has been announced.

Every year, a conglomeration of amateur and profession astronomers gather at Spruce Knob, West Virginia for a 4 day/3 night star party. This year's event will be held from July 31st to August 3rd, 2008 (Thursday-Sunday). I plan to attend August 1st -3rd. It will be my first star party, and I hear it is not for the faint of heart. Spruce Knob has rugged amenities, (in other words tent camping with no electricity), so this event is not for everyone. At least they have hot showers, hot meal service and conveniently located out houses.

Check the AHSP website for more information:

Until The Skies Clear !



Jacki said...

And to think I will miss the star party. Darn.

In other news....check this out....Google now has a Google Sky page.

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

Anonymous said...

I am in need of some help i am doing a report over 61 Cygni and Acrux i can not find what they are made up of or there age it would be a great help if you could help me out :)

Star Pilot said...

Sorry, but I have no idea. All I can say is Google them. That is what I would do. Good luck.