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Old February 13th, 2008, 04:40 AM   #21
hkskyline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Dunlap battle dates back light years
http://www.yorkregion.com/article/66693
Richmond Hill
Jan 11, 2008 08:21 PM
Findings a setback in fight to save Dunlap Observatory
Toronto Star
February 12, 2008

With developers hovering and a deadline to receive purchase offers just days away, efforts by Richmond Hill council to save the Dunlap Observatory lands were dealt a blow yesterday when a city-commissioned consultant insisted only half of the land could be designated as culturally significant.

Late last month, council had asked city staff and heritage consultant André Scheinman – who filed his first report in January – to find ways to designate the entire 77-hectare parcel of green space, where Canada's largest telescope is located, as culturally significant and deserving of a cultural heritage landscape designation.

The answer last night was that additional research by Scheinman showed only half of the lands could be designated in such a way.

"We believe the history is there to support a 100 per cent designation," said a disappointed Marianne Yake of the Richmond Hill Naturalists, one of the groups that has led the fight – which has galvanized the community – to save the estate.

Yake described it as the last remaining intact green space in Richmond Hill, and said she and other residents, 4,000 of whom signed a petition, are asking Ontario's Public Trustee to consider the public interest in preserving the lands.

She said the battle over the heritage designation would continue because both residents and the University of Toronto, which wants to sell the site, have appealed it. Residents think the amount being designated isn't enough, while the university thinks it's excessive.

Richmond Hill Mayor Dave Barrow said he would defer to the expertise of the consultant, but added the fight to save the observatory lands was far from over. "This is only one aspect," he said. "There is still opportunity to save this place."


There are woodlot and natural heritage issues, as well as the possibility the site has aboriginal artifacts, Barrow said. York Region has already designated 33 hectares of it as "significant woodlot."

But a Richmond Hill staff report warns that even a cultural heritage landscape designation would not freeze what has been described as a "future development opportunity."

"Rather the designation ... allows the Town to manage and protect the heritage resources and require a sensitive approach to development activity," the staff report said.

The university, which was given the lands in 1935 by Jessie Dunlap, shows no signs of extending its Feb. 15 deadline for purchase offers.

That's despite pleas from local politicians and residents, who argue an extension would allow agencies such as the astronomical society and senior governments to put together a package preventing a sale to private interests and development on the land.
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Old February 14th, 2008, 08:52 AM   #22
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Loneliest Observatory in Antarctica Looks to the Stars
SPACE.com
Wed Feb 13, 5:15 AM ET

A new robotic observatory at the highest point of the Antarctic Plateau will continuously survey the skies on its own for almost a year.

The coldest and driest place on Earth makes an ideal location for stargazing without much in the way of clouds or bad weather — not to mention Antarctica's four months of complete darkness.

"We're taking 10-second exposures of the sky for four months," said Lifan Wang, a Texas A&M astrophysicist who compared the hoped-for final results with "a movie of the sky."

International cooperation

Getting the PLATeau Observatory (PLATO) to Antarctica required international cooperation among scientists from more than 60 nations. Wang helped organize the first meetings in Beijing, China, where scientists identified an Antarctic site called Dome A as the perfect place for an observatory. However, the frigid and isolated site also presents a challenge to keep the observatory running smoothly.

PLATO will power itself with solar panels during the Antarctic summer and switch to high-efficiency engines that consume a total of 1,057 gallons (4,000 liters) of jet fuel during the long winter months, when the sun does not shine.

"Shipping one barrel of fuel to Dome A costs nine barrels of fuel," Wang noted, giving credit to the Polar Research Institute of China (PRIC) for stepping up to fund the operating costs and the expedition that installed PLATO.

Long trek

The PRIC-led team picked up the 7-ton PLATO observatory in Fremantle, Australia, before sailing to Antarctica on the Xue Long "Snow Dragon" icebreaker. Upon arrival at Zhongshan station on the Antarctic coast, the team set out in six snow tractors to cross 800 miles and reach Dome A. They arrived three weeks later on Jan. 11, marking only the second time that humans have reached the summit of Antarctica.

The scientists and engineers finished installing PLATO before the end of January, using silicone glue and steel cut from cans to repair oil leaks in the diesel engines. Their departure means the observatory will now operate remotely until another Chinese expedition returns in January 2009.

"Most of the equipment was built without moving mechanical parts," Wang said, ensuring that PLATO is "reliable and robust enough to function on its own for a year" with little human support.

PLATO's eyes consist of seven telescopes, including four from China, two from Caltech and one from the University of Arizona and the University of Exeter. Built and operated by the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, the observatory will beam data back via satellite to researchers.

The four telescopes from China — built by the Purple Mountain Observatory in Nanjing and the Nanjing Institute of Astronomical Optics Technology — will view more than 8,000 stars through different colors and wavelengths during the Antarctic night. Wang hopes to study the changes in stars as they grow brighter or dimmer, and also to detect some supernovas.

More to build

China will spend more than $25 million in the next few years to build a permanent station at Dome A, along with an array of wide-field telescopes to take more movies of the sky.

Meanwhile, astronomers from the United States, China and Australia are working on 1.6-foot Antarctic Schmidt Telescopes (AST3) that can find Earth-sized planets around other stars, supernovas and many other changing objects in the sky.

Wang expects the new telescopes to be installed at Dome A two years from now. The ability for PLATO to continuously scan the Antarctic night sky for months will give Wang and other astronomers the chance to discover hundreds of supernovas and Jupiter-sized planets, as well as perhaps a few Earth-sized cousins.

Earth's loneliest and most alien continent will thus continue to serve as a natural observatory for astronomers to peer out into the new space frontier.

"Antarctica provided this excellent opportunity for us to [be on the] forefront [of] science," Wang said.
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Old February 27th, 2008, 03:17 AM   #23
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Shanghai observatory blinded by city lights: newspaper

SHANGHAI, Jan 22, 2008 (AFP) - The bright lights of the big city have proved too much for Shanghai's observatory, which will move its astronomy work away from the metropolis's blinding light pollution, state press reported Tuesday.

The glare from the metropolis of nearly 17 million people has "greatly affected our observation and we must find a more appropriate base," Tao Jun, director of the Optical Astronomy Laboratory of Shanghai Observatory, told the Shanghai Morning Post.

He said China's second-largest optical telescope had been unable to conduct world-class astronomical observations in recent years due to the glare.

Light pollution in Shanghai is nearly 30 times levels advised by the International Astronomical Union, according to the newspaper.

The observatory has signed an agreement with neighbouring Zhejiang province to establish China's first "night sky protected area" in the rural area of Tianhuangping and will soon move its equipment there, the report said.

"The pollution is even more serious now. Even though we have updated the equipment, the observation is still not satisfactory," he said.

The new location is at an altitude of nearly 1,000 metres (3,280 feet) and local authorities have promised restrictions on lighting in the area.
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Old March 24th, 2008, 10:49 AM   #24
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The world's oldest astronomical observatory knows that China has it.

Last edited by japanese001; October 18th, 2010 at 09:08 PM.
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Old March 25th, 2008, 06:27 AM   #25
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Crowning the Hill of the Nymphs, the neo-classical Athens Observatory, and below it, the Byzantine church of Agia Marina.The National Observatory of Athens was built in 1842 by the Danish architect Theophil von Hansen.





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Old August 20th, 2010, 12:09 PM   #26
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Jaipur's Jantar-Mantar now on UNESCO's World Heritage site
1 August 2010
The Press Trust of India Limited

Jaipur, August 01, 2010 (PTI) -- Jantar Mantar, the Pink city's celebrated astronomical observatory built in early 18th century, has been granted World Heritage status by UNESCO.

The decision was taken in UNESCO's World Heritage Committee meeting in Brasilia.

"This is India's 28th and Rajasthan's second site (after Keoladev National Park) which has been given this status and it is a matter of proud for us and for nation as well," state Tourism Minister Bina Kak told reporters in the north-western Indin city.

The ancient observatory, built by the Maharaja Jai Singh II at his then new capital of Jaipur between 1727 and 1734, was among the seven sites in the world which have been added to UNESCO's World Heritage list this year.

"I received a phone call in the wee hours of today from state Principle Secretary-Tourism, Usha Sharma, from Brasilia that UNESCO has given 'Jantar-Mantar' the status of World Heritage site," Kak said.

She said a three-member team of representative from the state presented a management plan before the UNESCO committee yesterday following which Jantar-Mantar was declared a World Heritage site.

The committee discussed over 37 sites across the world in the meeting at Brasilia.

"We were making efforts for the past one year to get it the prestigious status, and submitted a management plan as asked by the UNESCO committee," she added.

Kak said the status would boost tourism sector in the state and in Jaipur, particularly.

"Hotel industry will get benefits following the status.

The state government would also consider over concessions which can be offered to the industry. We expect that tourists inflow which is around 8 lakh would increase during the upcoming tourists'season," she said.

The Maharaja had built a total of five such facilities at different locations, including the ones at Delhi and Jaipur.

However, the Jaipur observatory is the largest of these.

Ujjain, Mathura and Varansi have also these 'Calculation Instrument' of ancient India.

The observatory has religious significance and ancient Indian astronomers used it to understand the celestial phenomenon.
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Last edited by hkskyline; August 22nd, 2010 at 06:10 AM.
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Old August 22nd, 2010, 06:16 AM   #27
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Tai Mo Shan, Hong Kong



Source : http://www.pbase.com/iceman168168/image/54561060
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Old August 22nd, 2010, 05:24 PM   #28
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Jantar Mantar Jaipur, India

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Old August 25th, 2010, 08:16 AM   #29
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Chicagoland

Yerkes Observatory

http://www.flickr.com/photos/8344836...n/photostream/

For some reason Flickr images aren't working for me...
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Old August 27th, 2010, 05:54 AM   #30
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Mt John Observatory New Zealand.

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Old October 6th, 2010, 05:05 AM   #31
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Bosscha Observatorium, Lembang, Indonesia:

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Old October 17th, 2010, 06:28 PM   #32
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http://www.panoramio.com/photo/14485546

http://www.panoramio.com/photo/11794705

http://www.panoramio.com/photo/17206014
Obseravatory in Zielona Góra, Lubuskie, Poland.
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