Rock(ing)star Really Quakes (4.2 Magnitude) in Israel at the Bareket Observatory (a Member of the GRAS Telescope Network)

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Check out this rock(ing) star image! The 15" Astrograph, equipped with an electronic CCD camera, was in the process of acquiring an image of the Flame nebula NGC2024. GRAS-007 was using a narrow-band SII filter at the time.

Rocking Star Composite

We hope to be able to measure the Earth's membrane movement relative the stars by measuring the movement of the stars in the original images. Because the stars considered a singular dot of light and also lay in infinity, we expect the measurements to be very accurate, once calibrated and done properly.

A 4.2 - magnitude earthquake jolted Israel's eastern border earlier this morning, November 24, 2007. The quake was one of the largest seismic events to hit Israel in recent years.

The Bareket observatory, a member of the Global Rent-a-scope Network (GRAS) (http://www.global-rent-a-scope.com) announced that the telescopic system appears to have been undamaged. However, the telescopes' polar align may have been altered. Field crews are engaged in assessing the situation. GRAS-007 may be offline during the earlier portion of tonight's observing session since access to the stars is necessary to confirm alignment and make any necessary adjustments should they be needed.

Since the observing run was being controlled remotely, Ido Bareket, the principle investigator in charge of the observing mission, had no idea why the guide star suddenly disappeared off the guiding graph. A short time later he found out; a ground crew member of the observatory phoned to explain the earthquake that had occurred at about 24:16 Israel local time.

There have been no reports of any injuries, serious loss or damage to homes or property. All members of the ground support team were also safe.

Ido commented, "We hope to be able to measure the Earth's membrane movement relative the stars by measuring the movement of the stars in the original images. Because the stars considered a singular dot of light and also lay in infinity, we expect the measurements to be very accurate, once calibrated and done properly."

The Bareket Observatory is a member of the Global-Rent-a-scope Telescope Network (GRAS), a major provider of astronomical observing resources for members of the RAS Observatory of New Mexico (http://ras-observatory.org) and the general public,

The global telescope network provides global access to a series of astronomical installations in strategic time zones. The location of these participating installations offer users and observers access to highly sophisticated remote astronomical imaging platforms that possess amazing pointing and tracking accuracy. Outfitted with chilled CCD cameras and special imaging and scientific filters, subscribers to this membership facility routinely conduct research and capture unbelievably detailed images of a variety of deep space objects. No previous technical experience is required to operate these systems and real live support is available 24/7.

Hundreds of extremely satisfied subscribers to the GRAS system have collected a massive amount of data (over 16,000 hours so far and still counting). Some of this data was used to report close to 2000 observations to the MPC. Hundreds of other observations have been reported to peer review journals.

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ARNIE ROSNER
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