Telescopes that do everything

Robotic telescopes study everything -from objects in our Solar System and galactic nuclei to transitory phenomena such as explosions of gamma rays- without human intervention


Telescopio robótico de la red BOOTES

The Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia (IAA-CSIC), together with the Department of Economics and Competition, the University of Malaga and the Malaga Foundation, is organizing an international congress on autonomous robotic telescopes this week at the Pueblo Camino Real Hotel in Los Alamos, Torremolinos, Malaga. This third edition will follow the pattern of the previous congresses held in 2009 and 2011. From October 7th through October 12th it will bring together over eighty experts in the development and use of robotic telescopes, a technology that makes observations in very diverse fields of astrophysics possible with minimal human intervention.                                                                                                                  

The purpose of the congress is to consolidate an international forum to share ideas and progress in the field, with a special emphasis on the scientific and technical results of the past two years. More than forty lectures will be delivered in the course of the week.  

Alberto J. Castro-Tirado, research professor at the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia and organizer of the congress, points out that "many areas of astrophysics have benefitted from this kind of development which allows the installation of telescopes in remote areas such as the Antarctic." Mr. Castro-Tirado is responsible for the BOOTES network of robotic telescopes which has three observatories in Andalusia (including one in Algarrobo-Costa), two outside of Spain (New Zealand and China) and a sixth one soon to be installed in Baja California (México). That network illustrates several advantages of this type of telescopes, namely for the observation of gamma ray bursts: they are in constant communication with space satellites which initially identify the phenomenon to be observed. Once the robotic telescopes receive the feedback they point directly to the object and start monitoring it.

The congress will tackle the latest scientific and technological developments as well as the educational and public outreach applications that are also being promoted by the European Union through projects like GLORIA, whose special session scheduled at the congress reflects its importance.


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More information: Alberto J. Castro-Tirado (e-mail: About the meeting: