Feeds

Australian 'scope to help Europe's galaxy-mapping satellite

Zadko telescope ready for earth-saving duty spotting low flying rocks

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

New hybrid storage solutions

Australia's Zadko telescope will be pressed into service assisting The European Space Agency's Gaia satellite.

Gaia's mission is to create “... a three-dimensional map of our Galaxy … in the process revealing the composition, formation and evolution of the Galaxy.” The process of scanning the skies for the billion or so stars needed to accomplish that task will also spot lots of objects far closer to earth.

Which is where West Australia's Zadko Telescope comes in. The one-metre scope is already used to spot potentially hazardous asteroids. Next year, the 'scope will start to work with the Gaia mission, using data from the satellite to improve its rock-spotting prowess.

The collaboration has been detailed in a new paper, Australian participation in the Gaia Follow-Up Network for Solar System Objects that explains that while Gaia will likely spot lots of objects in the solar system, its galactic mission means it won't bother to check them out.

As a facility already accustomed to such studies, Zadko will pick up that slack, and has already conducted tests to ensure it meets the standards set by the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium. Recent upgrades to automate the telescope's movements made it possible to pass those tests, which saw the facility emerge as one of eleven facilities worldwide capable of tracking the movement of Asteroid YU55, an object that passed within 325,000 km of earth in November 2011. 37 facilities tried to spot the asteroid.

The telescope is also planning future upgrades to make it capable of “follow-up of exo-planet candidates,” the paper says. “Furthermore, an image processing pipeline for automated identification and analysis of optical transients is in development and planned for implementation in 2013.” ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Thought that last dinosaur was BIG? This one's bloody ENORMOUS
Weighed several adult elephants, contend boffins
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
'Duck face' selfie in SPAAAACE: Rosetta's snap with bird comet
Probe prepares to make first landing on fast-moving rock
Archaeologists and robots on hunt for more Antikythera pieces
How much of the world's oldest computer can they find?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.