Amor

The Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Canterbury has an active group working on the dynamics of interplanetary dust grains. The group operates a radar facility (Advanced Meteor Orbit Radar, AMOR) that determines the trajectories of interplanetary grains near the Earth (Baggaley et al. 1994, Baggaley 2001). The generation of plasma during the ablation in the atmosphere of such grains (size > < 30 m) provides a target, the geometry and speed of which are sensed by...

The Minor Planet Center

As emphasized by the 1998 Policy Statement, the Minor Planet Center is a key factor in the IAU involvement in NEO research because of its obvious role in coordinating observational and computational efforts around the world. The recommendations by the IMPACT meeting reiterated this fact and identified the MPC as the international clearinghouse and data disseminator for NEO research. However, this requires certain standards. The MPC must be both efficient and transparent. In particular, its data...

Working Group On Space Sciences In Africa

The Working Group on Space Sciences in Africa (WGSSA) was founded by the African participants of the 6th United Nations European Space Agency Workshop on Basic Space Science, held in Bonn in 1996. The mission of the organization is to promote the development of basic space science in Africa. It accomplishes its mission through the following activity areas Promoting greater regional cooperation by facilitating the exchange of scientists and by promoting awareness of space science institutes in...

The Hercules Spectrograph

In 1975-77 Canterbury built a high dispersion echelle spectrograph for Mt John based on a design provided by the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass. The new echelle spectrograph, which was one of the first of its type in the southern hemisphere, was mounted on the Boller and Chivens 60cm telescope in 1977 and used for recording the spectra of bright stars. At first these were recorded photographically, but later with electronic image intensifier tubes, then with an...

Delimitation Of Outer Space

Currently, there is no agreed precise legal, technical or political definition of either the boundaries separating airspace from outer space or of the term outer space itself33. Many definitions have been made to clarify the expressions outer space and airspace, but none of them can express the entire concept of both terms. Legal differences are significant. Over the airspace, states have complete and exclusive sovereignty, whereas in outer space there is no sovereignty. There are two main...

Summary and Conclusion

Austrian astronomy and astrophysics is internationally well-connected and highly active in research, education and public outreach activities. This is demonstrated by the number of successful applications for internationally competitive funding and observing time, and international collaboration in the development of astronomical instrumentation. Astronomy is very important to attract students to the natural sciences and technical subjects. However, the complete absence of direct access to...

Mt John University Observatory

Mt John University Observatory was founded in 1965, as a joint project between the universities of Pennsylvania and Canterbury. The observatory is located at Lake Tekapo, in the centre of New Zealand's South Island, at a dark-sky site where there is a maximum chance of clear skies. Although the involvement of Pennsylvania was active for the first ten years at Mt John, this is no longer the case and since about 1975 the observatory has been effectively run by the University of Canterbury. The...

Some Significant Early Telescopes in New Zealand

New Zealand has been fortunate to acquire some remarkable old telescopes by famous manufacturers in America and Great Britain. Most of them came here as a result of the amateur astronomers in New Zealand. A selection based on aperture and pedigree is mentioned here. Thomas Cooke of York, England, was one of the most famous telescope makers in Britain in the 1860s. Several New Zealand telescopes are of Cooke manufacture. The largest and oldest of the telescopes in working order is the Ward...

Direct Imaging

Exoplanets have not been imaged directly around stars because they are too faint to be seen against the glare of the nearby bright star. The key to unveil the chemical, structural, and evolutionary properties of planets is the direct detection of their radiation. Giant planets around relatively young stars, and white and brown dwarfs, will possibly be imaged from the ground with current 8-10m class telescopes. The use of adaptive-optics 19Experience de Recherche d'Objets Sombres. 20Massive...

H

Number of refereed papers based on HST data per year. the numbers provided by the ADS. There are different providers for citation statistics, each provider has its own strengths and its weaknesses. See, for instance, Sandqvist (2004) and Heck (2003) for mistakes made by citation statistics providers. The NASA-ADS provides a reliable, easy access, and free of charge source of citation counts for Astronomy. We decided to use the ADS for its convenience and for the kind willingness of...

Info

The masses of these planets lie between several times the mass of Jupiter and 20 times the mass of the Earth. In the mass range 10 to 0.5 Mjup, there is a clear trend to a higher frequency of low-mass planets. At even lower masses, this trend may still exist, but the limited sensitivity of the current surveys prevent a definitive conclusion. Remarkably, any effort to search for lower-mass planets has found success and the more recent findings of Neptune-mass exoplanets (Santos et al. 2004...

World Planetarium Distribution

World-wide geographical distribution of planetarium facilities by dome size (in meters). (courtesy Loch Ness Productions) Figure 5. World-wide geographical distribution of planetarium facilities by dome size (in meters). (courtesy Loch Ness Productions) we as planetarians have a lot to gain from having colleagues in diverse parts of the world as part of our Society. The ongoing effort to site major meetings around the world is also a direct response to the rise in membership among...

Greg Davidson

Northrop Grumman Space and Technology Abstract. Scientists, observatories, academic institutions and funding agencies persistently review the usefulness and productivity of investment in scientific research. The Science News Metrics was created over 10 years ago to review NASA's performance in this arena. The metric has been useful for many years as one facet in measuring the scientific discovery productivity of NASA-funded missions. The metric is computed independently of the agency and has...

The MOA Project

If by chance a massive object (a star or perhaps a black hole) passes precisely between us and a distant star, then a phenomenon known as gravitational microlensing can take place. This is caused by the bending of light rays by the gravitational field of the intermediate massive object (the lens), with the result that the light from the distant star can be amplified in brightness, typically for a few weeks or a month while the alignment of the source star, lens and Earth is nearly perfect....

Classical Versus Queue Observing

Traditionally, observing with a major telescope was the preserve of astronomers whose heritage consisted of lonely nights, perseverance, and an assumption of the unique added value a skilled observer brings to the whole process. In addition, there was a considerable degree of self worth associated with observing successfully with a cantankerous machine, (Mc-Cray 2003) tinged with a not-insignificant element of romanticism. As technology has improved telescope performance, the actual delivered...