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Session 30 - Amateurs & Professionals: Collaborators in the New Age of Electronic Astronomy.
Display session, Tuesday, June 10
South Main Hall,

[30.01] Amateur - Professional Cooperation - We Need Each Other!

D. F. Trombino (Davis Memorial Solar Obs.)

The D.M.S.O. is the only full-time optical solar observatory in the Sunshine State. Our instruments are made available on a NO CHARGE basis to skilled Central Florida amateur astronomers, undergraduate students and faculty members at local colleges and universities for research and solar patrol programs.

We are privately owned and totally independent of federal funding. Our research is supported through individual and corporate contributions and the voluntary manpower of trained amateur solar observers.

The D.M.S.O. is an affiliate of the Museum of Arts and Sciences, Daytona Beach, and maintains close ties with the departments of Physics, Mathematics and Computer Science at Stetson University in DeLand.

Daily solar observations are made in white-light, H-alpha and calcium II K-line wavelengths using University grade DayStar filters in conjunction with long focus refractors specially designed for solar work. Particular emphasis is given to morphological studies of sunspots, plage, flares, filaments and prominence features. Results are reported to the Solar Sections of the B.A.A. (England), A.L.P.O. (U.S.A.) and SONNE (Germany).

Our East Coast location enables us to record photospheric and chromospheric activity in advance of West Coast observatories; an important solar alert link. We propose to make solar observing image data available by establishing an internet link between the observatory and Stetson University. Image data gathered from the D.M.S.O. will be digitized and stored locally on a computer workstation. From there, it may be streamed over the net via a gateway at Stetson, or transmitted in non-real time over the net, to be archived at Stetson for ftp and web access. Video images of solar activity may be produced on-site at the observatory as well.

Numerous lakes at our site provide exceptional seeing.

We are currently seeking funding for the required computer workstations, archival storage space and network connectivity from Stetson to the observatory to implement the first phase of the project which will allow the digitization of the observing data and its transmission for archival storage at a Stetson-based web site, as well as storage on video tape.

Further phases will permit the streaming of video across the net, as well as development of intelligent event detection algorithms and the creation of multimedia educational materials.

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Program listing for Tuesday