Since 2011 our observatory is a member of
GLORIA (GLObal Robotic telescopes
Intelligent Array for e-Science) project - wide international collaboration
of 13 scientific institutions from 8 countries aiming at opening public
access to robotic telescopes, as well as propagating astronomy in general.
In particular, members of the project regularly organize events dedicated
to various interesting astronomical phenomena and events - solar and lunar
eclipses, transit of Venus, etc.
Contact - Karpov S.
A total lunar eclipse will occur on April 15th, 2014, the first in two and
half years. This marks the first of four eclipses occurring about 6 months
apart, called an eclipse tetrad. The last tetrad was a decade ago, and
the next is not due until 2032. GLORIA will travel to Peru to broadcast
the event live.
What more fascinating place to observe an astronomical event than the land
of the Incas? This pre-Columbian civilisation devoted a lot of time to
the study of the sky and worshipped the Sun god, Inti. Recording the
movements of the Sun and stars was significant to the Incas both for
religious reasons and also because these movements were related to seasonal
changes that were important for agriculture. The famous Temple of the
Sun (Coricancha) in Cusco has forty-one directions marked out. Some of
these correspond to astronomical alignments, such as the direction of
the rising or setting sun at the June and December solstices.
Lunar eclipses occur when the Moon passes into the Earth's shadow. This
does not happen every month, because the moon's orbit is tilted relative
to the Earth's. Unlike solar eclipses, lunar eclipses can be seen from
anywhere on the planet once the Moon is above the horizon at the time of
On April 15th a total eclipse will be visible from the Americas and the
Atlantic Ocean. If you live in Europe, depending on your location, you may
get to see the Moon start its passage into Earth's shadow (the so-called
"penumbral" eclipse phase) at 07:58 CEST on April 15th. However, changes
in the Moon's brightness during this phase, lasting about an hour, are
minimal and will be tough to spot. When the Moon enters the darkest portion
(or "umbra") of Earth's shadow, beginning at 09:06 CEST, the Moon will have
already set for most of Europe. A partial eclipse will be visible from
the Canary Islands.
A team of GLORIA astronomers will celebrate this astronomical spectacle
with a live broadcast from the ancient Inca site of Saksaywaman, a walled
complex on the northern outskirts of the city of Cusco, in Peru. During
totality, viewers will see that the Moon does not disappear from view, but
turns a reddish colour. The Earth's atmosphere, extending about 80 km beyond
the Earth's diameter, acts as a lens, bending the sunlight. It also
effectively filters out the blue components of the Sun's light, leaving
more red light behind to be reflected from the Moon, giving it the
characteristic coppery glow.
GLORIA will also observe the event from Teide volcano. Located on the
Canarian island of Tenerife, its altitude of 3750m offers an intriguing
observational prospect. When a total lunar eclipse occurs close to sunrise
or sunset at Teide, the shadow of the volcano aligns perfectly with the
eclipsed Moon. This unique phenomenon will be observable during the eclipse
of April 15th and will be broadcast live.
For more information on the live broadcast timings and other GLORIA
activities please go to
the project web site.
GLORIA is a three-year project
financed by the Seventh Framework Program of the European Union
(FP7/2007-2012) under agreement number 283783. The project, started in
October 2011, involves 13 institutions from 8 countries. Please see
GLORIA stands for "GLObal Robotic-telescopes Intelligent Array". GLORIA
will be the first free and open- access network of robotic telescopes in
the world. It will be a Web 2.0 environment where users can do research
in astronomy by observing with robotic telescopes, and/or by analysing data
that other users have acquired with GLORIA.