Calar Alto Observatory participated last September 30th 2016 on the European Night of the Researchers with a stand that showed the Fireball Detection Station that is presently working at the observatory with cameras from both the SMART Project and the Calar Alto External Surveillance system. Some images and videos of the most impressive fireballs were shown during the whole event. The researchers explained the nature and origin of this astronomical phenomena, generating a great expectation in the audience.
However, fireballs are not only a visual spectacle. Detection of such objects is fundamental in order of knowing the orbits and distribution of asteroids and other minor bodies from Solar System, which trajectory is close to the Earth. Besides, in case that the object is not totally disintegrated while travelling the atmosphere, the resultant meteorites can give crucial information concerning the formation and origin of the Solar System. Finally, fireball detection stations as the one at Calar Alto Observatory have an added value as they can also detect the reentrant of artificial satellites or a component of such machines into our atmosphere.
Below is the complete video that was presented to the audience
The European Night of the Researches is a European project of public outreach promoted by the European Commission within the Marie Sktodowska-Curie actions of the 2020 Horizon Program, which is held on more than 350 european cities at the same time since 2005.
The German-Spanish Calar Alto Observatory is located at Sierra de los Filabres, north of Almería (Andalucía, Spain). It is jointly operated by the Instituto Max Planck de Astronomía in Heidelberg, Germany, and the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (CSIC) in Granada, Spain. Calar Alto has three telescopes with apertures of 1.23m, 2.2m and 3.5m. A 1.5m aperture telescope, also located at the mountain, is operated under control of the Observatorio de Madrid.
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