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"Gloria" will allow internet astronomers to access worldwide robotic telescope network

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October 18, 2011

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Amateur astronomers wanting to observe celestial bodies soon won't be limited to just their own personal telescopes, or visits to the local public observatory. Starting next year, the first in a worldwide network of robotic telescopes will be going online, which users from any location on the planet will be able to operate for free via the internet. Known as Gloria (GLObal Robotic telescopes Intelligent Array for e-Science), the three-year European project will ultimately include 17 telescopes on four continents, run by 13 partner groups from Russia, Chile, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Italy, the Czech Republic, Poland and Spain. Not only will users be able to control the telescopes from their computers, but they will also have access to the astronomical databases of Gloria and other organizations.

The telescope at Spain's Montegancedo Observatory is serving as the model for Gloria. Located at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid's Facultad de Informática, it can already be remotely operated through the internet, using the university's Ciclope Astro software. This same software will be used by all the Gloria telescopes, to ensure uniformity across the system.

Locations of the 17 Gloria robotic telescopes

The amount of time that individual users get on the telescopes will be based on their "Karma," determined by how popular their work is with their fellow users. It will reportedly be somewhat like YouTube, where users vote on each other's video posts.

While the EUR2.5 million (US$3.4 million) project is intended to help armchair astronomers of all types explore the Universe for themselves, it will also be used for crowd-sourced research. The University of Oxford in particular will be using Gloria for its Galaxy Zoo project, in which users are recruited to help classify approximately a million galaxies. Astronomical events will also be broadcast on the system, to help promote Gloria and built its user community.

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.   All articles by Ben Coxworth
3 Comments

but wouldn't it be great to have access to all the satellite footage pointed at the earth!

dsiple
18th October, 2011 @ 10:48 am PDT

yeah view of satellites towards the Earth would definitely help. Particularly with monitoring the oceans, hurricanes, possibly seismological activity of the surface of the earth. Those things are quite important to citizens of the planet, due to us actually living on surface rather then flying...

Kirill Belousov
19th October, 2011 @ 01:26 pm PDT

where should i sign up to be one of the first to monitor this telescope?

Juan Carlos Alfonso
8th December, 2011 @ 11:46 am PST
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