Archive for observatories

New Publication at the Open Journal of Astrophysics!

Posted in Open Access, The Universe and Stuff with tags , , , , , on March 13, 2019 by telescoper

It’s nice to be able to announce that the Open Journal of Astrophysics has just published another paper. Here it is!

It’s by Pauline Barmby of the University of Western Ontario. You can find the accepted version on the arXiv here.

I think this paper is a good demonstration of the broad remit of the Open Journal of Astrophysics: our only rule is that if it’s suitable for the astro-ph section of the arXiv then we will consider if for publication. Rather than being a hardcore research paper, this is comprehensive and pedagogical review of observational techniques, instrumentation and data analysis in astronomy for use by researchers and educators in other disciplines, which we feel is a very useful addition to the literature

My thanks to the Editor and referees for dealing with this one so efficiently! We even have a Twitter testimonial from the author:

We have more publications in the pipeline but would be more than happy to receive more…!
I hope soon to get to the point where we have so many papers I can’t write a blog post about every one!

Telescoping

Posted in The Universe and Stuff with tags , , , , , on October 2, 2011 by telescoper

I stumbled upon the following cartoon on Youtube and, since it’s about a mad astronomer, I thought I’d post it here.

It strikes me how  comic depictions of astronomical observatories, such as the example on the left,  always seem to show the telescope pointing out of the dome like the barrel of a gun poking out of a turret, which they never do. I venture to suggest that a great many members of the general public think that’s how they work also. I wonder why?

Perhaps it’s connected with the origins of the verb form of telescope which the OED gives as

a. trans. To force or drive one into another (or into something else) after the manner of the sliding tubes of a hand-telescope: usually said in reference to railway carriages in a collision. Also fig. to combine, compress, or condense (a number of things) into a more compact or concise form; to combine or conflate (several things, or one thing with another); to shorten by compression.

b. intr. To slide, run, or be driven one into another (or into something else); to have its parts made to slide in this manner (see quot. 1882 for telescoping n. and adj. at Derivatives, s.v. telescoping below); to collapse so that its parts fall into one another (quot. 1905).

The inference being that large astronomical telescopes must extend in the same way as the much smaller hand-held variety. Anyway, this idea is taken to a ludicrious extreme in the cartoon, with hilarious consequences…