BY DR EMILY BALDWIN
Posted: 03 April, 2009
The IYA initiative Around the World in 80 Telescopes kicked off this morning from the Gemini North Telescope in Hawaii. The 24 hour live webcast will showcase the world’s greatest observatories.
The first port of call for Around the World in 80 Telescopes was the Gemini North Telescope in Hawaii. Image: Gemini Observatory.
Anyone with access to the Internet will have the opportunity to explore some of the most advanced astronomical observatories both on and off the planet for the next 24 hours. The event kicked off at 10am BST with a broadcast from the Gemini North Telescope in Hawaii and is now speeding round the night-time globe while the large telescopes are exploring the skies, observing distant galaxies, searching for extrasolar planets around other stars, or studying our own Solar System.
Over the next 24 hours the webcast will drop in on dozens of observatories, including the Anglo-Australian Telescope (1pm BST), Jodrell Bank Observatory near Manchester (6pm BST), the William Herschel Telescope in the Canary Islands (12.10am BST, Saturday morning), and will conclude at the Palomar Observatory in California at 9.40am BST. The tour will even take viewers into space to the Hubble Space Telescope, XMM-Newton and Integral.
The UK’s IYA coordinator Steve Owens says, “As thousands of local events are being held around the country to celebrate the 400 years since Galileo made his first revolutionary observations and sketches of the Moon, Around the World in 80 Telescopes gives everyone the chance to see the amazing work that professional astronomers do, furthering the boundaries of our knowledge and helping us understand our place in the Universe.”
Around the World in 80 Telescopes will come to the UK at 6pm tonight. Image: Anthony Holloway, Jodrell Bank.
Watch Around the World in 80 Telescopes live or after the event on the 100 Hours of Astronomy website, http://www.100hoursofastronomy.org.
Around the World in 80 Telescopes is one of the headlining acts of the IYA’s 100 Hours of Astronomy project, which runs from 2-5 April with events planned across the globe. In the UK, hundreds of amateur astronomers will be out on the streets with their telescopes, giving the public a chance to observe the Moon during Spring Moonwatch. To find out what’s happening near you visit http://www.astronomy2009.co.uk.