Transcript Slide 1

Serendipitous Gamma Ray Burst
Observations - 50 Years Ago
Michael Castelaz
Thurburn Barker
Clemson University
February 10, 2011
Not-for-profit foundation
• More than 2 million astronomical photographic plates
from the late 19th to the 21st Century are historic and
scientifically valuable.
• Astronomical photographic plate collections are:
 becoming inaccessible, or neglected, or destroyed;
 irreplaceable resources for time-domain astronomy.
Astronomical Photographic Data Archive
Established as a new type of astronomical observatory
to harness the 150 years of analog data of the night sky
and make that data digitally accessible
APDA Mission
Dedicated to collection, restoration, preservation
and storage of astronomical photographic data.
Tasked with digitizing and establishing a digital
database of images Internet accessible.
APDA is essential both for the health of astronomical science
and for credibility of the current generation of astronomers as
guardians of its unique heritage.
Guide Star Automatic Measuring MAchine
For production of a digital database of plates in APDA
Major Collections in APDA
Royal Observatory Edinburgh
Palomar Observatory
Harvard (Full Sky Survey 1898-1903)
Dyer Observatory – Vanderbilt University
McDonald Observatory
University of Michigan Spectra and Objective Prism
Harvard College Observatory Meteor Project
* More than 150,000 plates/films in APDA inventory
* Collection dates range from 1898 through 1994
Jacchia and Whipple 1956, Vistas in Astronomy, 2, 982
rescued and
now in the
Data Archive
SK 6409
Examples of Film Defects
Film 8299 Spots
Film 8301 Trees
Film 8303 Splash Feature
13 August 1956
Possible Nature of the Transient Event
Fernie 1969, PASP, 81, 374
NOVA Vul 1968A
LV Vul
29 April 1968
5h 25m UT
RA (2000) = 19 48 00.52
Dec (2000) = +27 10 19.3
Vmax 4.97
Vmin 16.90
BATSE 4B Gamma-Ray Burst Catalog
Paciesas et al. 1999, Astrophys.J.Suppl. 122, 46
4B 95051
19h 47m 41s (2000) +27 46’ 48”
Position Error Circle = 1.22 degrees
1 May 1995
3h 25m 4.0s UT
Follow-up Observations at
Pisgah Astronomical
Research Institute
The 200 acre Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI), looking
from the 26-m East radio telescope towards the West 26-m radio
telescope. APDA is located on the lower floor of the PARI Research
Building adjacent to the West 26-m radio telescope.
The PARI Research Building. The lower level of this building is the home of APDA.
Seen behind the building is the West PARI 26 Meter radio telescope, and the PARI 4.6
Meter Internet Accessible radio telescope (“Smiley”) used for E/PO.
• 20,000 square foot, two story building with labs and offices.
• RF Lab, APDA, lab space for long- and short-term projects conducted by PARI Research
Faculty Affiliates.
• NSF ARI-R2 Award AST-0963300 for renovation
• EMC Corp. donated a storage system now installed in the Research Building