The New Space Telescope as an example of Euro-American cooperation
Published 5/11/2012 in David Barrado Author dbarrado
Just arrived from London from a one-day meeting of the MIRI consortium, I cannot avoid looking back with pride at our achievements, in this longer than 10 years challenge. The Mid-Infrared Instrument  (MIRI) is one of the four instruments which will fly on the James Webb   Space Telescope, the next big observatory NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Canadian Space Agency  (CSA) will put in orbit. This will happen in 2018, but a lot of work has to be done before then (the integration of the telescope and its instruments and additional verifications). These three organizations started to think... read more ❯

Observing Saturn
Published 7/6/2011 in David Barrado Author dbarrado
Amazing experience! With my student Jorge Lillo, I have been observing Saturn with the 2.2m telescope and Astralux, a lucky imaging camara capable of delivering images with resolution almost similar to those of the Hubble Space Telescope. If you do not beleive, have a look... read more ❯

Renovation of the German-Spanish agreement for the future of Calar Alto
Published 12/10/2010 in David Barrado Author dbarrado
After many moths and a lot of work .... (and this is one of the reasons why I was not active writing posts, or in science) .... We have an agreement! Calar Alto Observatory (Almería, Southern Spain) will continue it scientific operations up to the end of 2018. I am attaching the press release. On December 2nd 2010, the German Max Planck Society (MPG) and Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) have signed an agreement in order to operate the Calar Alto Observatory at the German-Spanish Astronomical Centre during the period 2014-2018. The German-Spanish Astronomical Centre (CAHA) is a joint venture of the... read more ❯

The results of the effort...
Published 9/1/2009 in David Barrado Author dbarrado
If months ago (sorry for not being able to write more often: work, trips, vacations...) I wrote about writing proposals and the efort it implied, now I am collecting the benefits: the observing time. I applied and obtained a fair amount of hours in service mode with the new and shine Spanish 10 m telescope GTC. I submitted the Observing Blocks (the instructions about how to observe) yesterday and since the proposal was approved with a good ranking, the data will be collected during the incoming months And I am now at the William Herschel Telescope, observing very young objects we... read more ❯

Submitting proposals: is it worth the effort?
Published 6/4/2009 in David Barrado Author dbarrado
Astronomy, like any other science, works under the system of peer-review. It means that nothing is published in a prestigious journal without having the external examination of at least one specialist in the field, a person who is not connected directly with the research described in the paper. The same system is valid for the observing proposals. Most observatories (at least the important ones) have a panel of experts which read all the submitted proposals and grade them, granting time to the best and feasible ideas. See Franck Marchis' description about how it works with the European Southern Observatory. The... read more ❯

Heavenly music
Published 1/26/2009 in David Barrado Author dbarrado
The year 2009 is also for the community of astronomers from Mexico, Spain and Florida, since the Gran Telescopio Canarias, the GTC, will start its scientific operations in few weeks. Meanwhile, famous musicians visit the place and think about new possibilities. This is the case of Jean Michael Jarren and Brian May. read more ❯