CfA Joins Upcoming "Around the World in 80 Telescopes" Webcast
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For Release: 
Monday, March 30, 2009 - 8:00pm

The Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) will have three of its facilities featured in a live 24-hour video webcast called "Around the World in 80 Telescopes." The Submillimeter Array, MMT Observatory, and Magellan Telescopes will participate in the webcast, which takes place from Friday, April 3 through Saturday, April 4.

"Around the World in 80 Telescopes" will travel around the globe to some of the most advanced observatories on and off the planet. Viewers can find out what is happening at a research observatory in their home country or on the other side of the planet, send in questions and messages, see new images from the cosmos, and discover what astronomers are doing right now. "Around the World in 80 Telescopes" will take viewers to every continent, including Antarctica. It will be accessible from http://www.100hoursofastronomy.org/.

The live webcast is part of an International Year of Astronomy 2009 Cornerstone project, 100 Hours of Astronomy - a worldwide celebration taking place over four days and nights, from 2-5 April 2009. During this period, people from around the globe will share the experience and wonders of observing the sky. For many, it will be their first glimpse of the marvels of the heavens through a telescope. For others, it is the perfect opportunity to impart their knowledge and excitement, helping unveil the cosmos to fresh and eager eyes.

CfA participation will begin at 7:00 a.m. EDT on Friday, April 3 with a broadcast from the Submillimeter Array atop Mauna Kea, Hawaii. SMA will air an introductory video, then broadcast live video from the summit control room and the operations control room in Cambridge, Mass. SMA scientists Jim Moran and Glen Petitpas will be featured speakers.

The Submillimeter Array is a collaboration between the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and the Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics of the Academia Sinica of Taiwan.

The second CfA observatory to be featured, the Magellan Telescopes located at Las Campanas, will go live at 11:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, April 3. Magellan scientist David Osip will host the 20-minute segment. He will discuss the history of Las Campanas and the research conducted at Magellan.

The Las Campanas Observatory (in Chile) operates these twin 6.5-meter optical telescopes for a consortium of institutions, which includes Harvard University, the Carnegie Observatories, MIT, the University of Michigan, and the University of Arizona.

The third and final CfA facility to join the webcast will be the MMT Observatory at 2:50 a.m. EDT on Saturday, April 4. After an introductory video, the webcast will connect with the MMT control room where astronomers will answer questions about the observatory and its ongoing work. They will also unveil a previously unpublished image taken with the MMT.

The MMT Observatory, a 6.5-meter-diameter optical telescope, is located on the summit of Mt. Hopkins at the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory, 30 miles south of Tucson, Arizona. The telescope is operated jointly by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and the University of Arizona.

Webcast details:


7:00 a.m. EDT, Friday, April 3 - Submillimeter Array

11:00 p.m. EDT, Friday, April 3 - Magellan Telescopes

2:50 a.m. EDT, Saturday, April 4 - MMT Observatory

More information about "Around the World in 80 Telescopes" is available from an IAU press release at http://www.iau.org/public_press/news/release/iau0908/

Headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) is a joint collaboration between the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and the Harvard College Observatory. CfA scientists, organized into six research divisions, study the origin, evolution and ultimate fate of the universe.

David A. Aguilar
Director of Public Affairs
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Christine PulliamPublic Affairs Specialist
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics