‘Around the World in 80 Telescopes’ – webcast archive online
16 April 2009
On 3 April 2009 astronomers from ESA's INTEGRAL and XMM-Newton observatories took part in a marathon 24-hour live webcast, 'Around the World in 80 Telescopes'. The webcast took viewers on a worldwide odyssey visiting telescopes on every continent - and in space, including ESA's European Space Astronomy Centre (ESAC) near Madrid in Spain. This was part of the 100 Hours of Astronomy cornerstone project of the International Year of Astronomy (IYA). The recorded webcast is now available to view at your leisure.
An early highlight of the webcast was the first visit to a space satellite control room - the XMM-Newton instrument control room at ESAC, Spain. Here, our hosts, Maria Santos (XMM-Newton Science Support Manager) and Erik Kuulkers (INTEGRAL operations scientist) talked about their missions and their work as astronomers. (See XMM-Newton & INTEGRAL in 'Around the world in 80 telescopes'.)
‘Be an INTEGRAL astronomer’ competition
During the webcast Erik announced the launch of a special ESA competition for students in secondary school and University undergraduates to mark the International Year of Astronomy. Students will use data taken by the INTEGRAL space observatory to investigate objects in one of the most active regions of our Galaxy and be in with a chance to win a number of fantastic prizes, including a trip to the European Space Astronomy Centre, the scientific heart of ESA. The competition is open until 14 August 2009.
For further details see the ‘Be an INTEGRAL astronomer’ competition pages.
Exclusive XMM-Newton image
To celebrate the International Year of Astronomy and the 100 hours of Astronomy cornerstone project a dedicated observation of M82, a well-known star-burst galaxy, was made later in the evening on 3 April. Maria revealed a sneak preview of the exclusive image during the webcast. The final version of the image, incorporating the data taken during the dedicated observation, was released 8 April and is available to download. To find out more about the features of M82 revealed in this image and about how this image was composed click on the image above.
Around the world
Viewers also heard from astronomers working with the ESA/NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) and the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, as well as those working on the highest telescope on Earth (the Indian Astronomical Observatory in the Himalayas), one of the coldest and most remote (the South Pole Telescope and IceCube Neutrino Telescope at the South Pole in Antarctica), and the driest region on the planet (the Paranal Observatory in the Atacama Desert in Chile).
The webcast truly captures the variety of observatories around the world and provides a unique insight into the working lives of astronomers. You can experience this for yourself by viewing the recorded webcast sessions at your leisure.
Last Update: 13 October 2009