To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Advancement in radio technology means that radio astronomy has to share the radio spectrum with many other non-astronomical activities, majority of which increase radio frequency interference (RFI), and therefore detrimentally affecting the radio observations at the observatory sites. Major radio facilities such as the SKA, in both South Africa and Australia, and the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST) in China will be very sensitive, and therefore require protection against RFI.
In the case of optical astronomy, the growing urbanisation and industrialisation led to optical astronomy becoming impossible near major cities due to light and dust pollution. Major optical and IR observatories are forced to be far away in remote areas, where light pollution is not yet extreme. The same is true for radio observatories, which have to be sited away from highly RFI affected areas near populated regions and major cities.
In this review, based on the Focus Meeting 21 (FM21) oral presentations at the IAU General Assembly on 11 August 2015, we give an overview of the mechanisms that have evolved to provide statutory protection for radio astronomy observing, successes (e.g at 21 cm HI line), defeats and challenges at other parts of the spectrum. We discuss the available legislative initiatives to protect the radio astronomy sites for large projects like SKA (in Australia and South Africa), and FAST against the RFI. For optical protection, we look at light pollution with examples of its effect at Xinglong observing station of the National Astronomical Observatories of China (NAOC), Ali Observatory in Tibet, and Asiago Observatory in Italy, as well as the effect of conversion from low pressure sodium lighting to LEDs in the County of Hawaii.
This will be the last triennial report from Commission 50 under that label, because of the reorganization of the IAU at the end of the triennial period. Fortunately, site protection was recognized as an important ongoing function of the IAU, and the work of the Commission is continuing as Commission C.B7. The Commission has its primary association with Division B because of the technical aspects of its work and association with ground-based facilities, while it has the support of Division C as an Inter-Division Commission because of the strong need for educating the public on the issues.
We are trying to reduce the largest uncertainties in using white dwarf stars as Galactic chronometers by understanding the details of carbon crystalliazation that currently result in a 1–2 Gyr uncertainty in the ages of the oldest white dwarf stars. We expect the coolest white dwarf stars to have crystallized interiors, but theory also predicts hotter white dwarf stars, if they are massive enough, will also have some core crystallization. BPM 37093 is the first discovered of only a handful of known massive white dwarf stars that are also pulsating DAV, or ZZ Ceti, variables. Our approach is to use the pulsations to constrain the core composition and amount of crystallization. Here we report our analysis of 4 hours of continuous time series spectroscopy of BPM 37093 with Gemini South combined with simultaneous time-series photometry from Mt. John (New Zealand), SAAO, PROMPT, and Complejo Astronomico El Leoncito (CASLEO, Argentina).
The South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) observing station near Sutherland, Northern Cape in South Africa, is one of the darkest sites in the world for optical and IR astronomy. The SAAO hosts and operates several facilities, including the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) and a number of international robotic telescopes. To ensure that the conditions remain optimal for astronomy, legislation called the Astronomy Geographic Advantage (AGA) Act, of 2007, was enacted. The Act empowers the Department of Science and Technology (DST) to regulate issues that pose a threat to optical and/or radio astronomy in areas declared Astronomy Advantage Areas in South Africa. For optical astronomy, the main challenges are those posed by light and dust pollution as result of wind energy developments, and petroleum gas and oil exploration/exploitation in the area. We give an update of possible threats to the quality of the night skies at SAAO, and the challenges relating to the AGA Act implementation and enforcement. We discuss measures that are put in place to protect the Observatory, including a study to quantify the threat by a planned wind energy facility.
Activities started in early 2015. Individuals applying for nomination for IAU Individual Membership should have contacted their NCA or Adhering Organization before December 1, 2014. The deadline for approved nominations for Individual Members to be submitted to the IAU Secretariat by NCAs or Adhering Organizations was February 3, 2015. Therefore, the focus of this report are the last months prior to the IAU XXIX General Assembly (August 2015) in Honolulu.
To address light pollution issues, IAU Commissions 41, 46, 50, and 55 are involved in getting the word out to the public and IAU members via cultural, educational, technical; however, efforts can always improve and evolve. To carry out a successful light pollution abatement program supported by the IAU, it takes a diversity of groups, professions, and disciplines with their collective knowledge and experience. In manifesting dark skies awareness effectively, we are stronger together than we are alone; therefore, combining efforts of Commissions 41, 46, 50 and 55 with organizations like the International Dark-Sky Association, Astronomers Without Borders, The World at Night and partnering with events like Earth Hour or GLOBE at Night is a good step forward.
The SAAO is at a geographically crucial site in the southern hemisphere between South America and Australasia. SAAO has a long history of involvement in infrared and optical astronomy that dates back almost two hundred years. The observatory expects to continue contributing to astronomical research for many years to come, using its small (0.5m, 0.75m, 1.0m and 1.9m) telescopes and their various instruments (ranging from spectroscopy to polarimetry and high-speed photometry), together with the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) and other hosted international telescopes. In this paper, I discuss the capabilities and uses of the SAAO small telescopes, and the challenges that threaten astronomical research at the observatory, including light pollution and other emerging threats to the usually dust-free and dark-night-sky site at Sutherland. This is mitigated by the legislation called the Astronomy Geographic Advantage (AGA) Act of 2007 that protects the observatory from these threats.
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this to your organisation's collection.