Emirates News Agency – Sharjah Academy for Astronomy and Space Science and Technology..a scientific, research, heritage and tourism teacher

From Alia bin Darwish.

Sharjah, October 5/WAM/ Over the past years, the Sharjah Academy of Astronomy and Space Sciences has witnessed many achievements at the local, regional and global levels, and achieved distinction in its scientific career to embody the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, to become the Academy. A pioneer in the field of space and astronomy, which was opened in May 2015.

The Academy aims to develop and popularize astronomical and space science and culture in the Arab world in general and in the UAE in particular, to be a scientific, research, heritage, educational and tourist center for different groups and ages of society, including school and university students, researchers and visitors, and to achieve scientific progress and sustainable development in society. It includes many sections and exhibitions, the most important of which are: Planetarium, astronomy exhibition, space exhibition, universe exhibition in the Holy Quran, astronomical observatory and cosmic garden.

Aisha Al-Owais, Research Assistant at the Academy, said: “The Department of Scientific Research and Projects seeks to raise the level of scientific research in terms of quantity and quality, in order to keep pace with the modern frameworks used in scientific research, which focus mainly on the quality of research and publication in scientific journals accredited globally, where the number of researches reached Published 39 papers were published and their results were presented in prestigious scientific conferences.. Explaining that in the aspect of transferring knowledge to the public, about 71 scientific and cultural lectures and workshops were organized, in addition to the publication of 15 articles in scientific and public journals and periodicals.. The department was keen to hold seminars and visits The scientific field to achieve excellence and leadership in the field of space science and technology and astronomy.

The department also attracts university students for practical training in the scientific laboratories of the Academy from various universities in the country. They have been trained in various research laboratories.

The department includes a scientific library containing about 275 specialized books to provide them with knowledge experiences in the field of specialized astronomy, physics, technology, engineering sciences, mathematics, chemistry, biology and space navigation sciences, which are archived in an electronic system through which books are borrowed by students, specialists and amateurs. Achieving the desired research goals in the specialized fields, so it includes many research laboratories, including: the high-energy astrophysics laboratory, the CubeSats laboratory, the space weather and ionosphere laboratory, the radio astronomy laboratory, the artificial intelligence laboratory, in addition to the Meteorites Center.

The CubeSats Laboratory is working on the “Sharjah-Sat-1” satellite development project, which aims to monitor and study the evolution of solar coronal holes, and to monitor other cosmic sources using an X-ray detector and a dual camera system for use in some sensing applications. After, under the supervision of the laboratory engineers and with the participation of a number of qualified students of the University of Sharjah in the field, it is planned to launch the satellite in the last quarter of this year.

The laboratory is dedicated to building missions of nano-satellites of the cube-shaped geometric form with dimensions of 10 x 10 x 10 cm and a weight of approximately 1.3 kg, through various stages such as design, manufacture, testing and operation.

As for the Meteorites Center at the Academy, it includes a large group of meteorites, with the support of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, which is unique in being the largest in terms of number. It consists of thousands of meteorite pieces of different types and sources, including meteorites. Stone and iron, and lunar and Martian meteorites.. The center aims to study and analyze meteors and meteorites through its various units through research projects.

The first unit is the Emirates Network for Meteor Monitoring, which is characterized by the ability to analyze the data coming from the cameras, to identify the apparent brightness of the meteors, as well as to determine the meteor shower that the meteor may belong to, through which meteors and space debris are monitored in the sky of the Emirates, as it consists of: Three monitoring stations, including at the Academy’s headquarters, Al Yahar area in Al Ain, and Liwa area in Abu Dhabi.

The project is supported by the UAE Space Agency and in cooperation with the National Center of Meteorology.. This unique network comes in the region, as part of the International Program for Awareness of the Space Situation, which aims to educate the public on understanding the danger of space debris, and thus train students to use the available hardware and software to analyze Meteorites, and since September 2018, the network has monitored more than 40,000 meteors, and the meteorite analysis unit is concerned with studying meteorites using specialized equipment to analyze elements and chemical compounds to obtain valuable information about the origin and development of the solar system.

The Space Weather and Ionosphere Laboratory operates two main systems to study different space weather conditions and their impact on the ionosphere: the Global Positioning Systems (GNSS) signal receiving system and the ionosphere vertical sounding system (Ionosonde). Ionosphere The focus is on observing the response of the ionosphere to the influence of different space weather conditions represented by the state of the sun and its varying activity. Ionospheric studies are carried out using different observational methods and different modeling tools, focusing on long and short-term ionospheric fluctuations and the response of the E and F sub-layers to these fluctuations, in addition to disturbances that result in changes in the ionosphere in the middle and low latitudes.

Techniques such as vertical sounding of the ionosphere are used to extract electronic density profiles by determining the reflective heights of the waves sent from the ion sounding instrument.

The total electronic content of the ionosphere is also measured using the GNSS system, and the electronic density is calculated by using the radio shielding technique. In addition to studying the ionosphere on Earth, the ionosphere on other planets is studied for comparison with Earth.

As for the Radio Astronomy Laboratory, its activities are based on two main systems for conducting scientific research in the radio band, including the Sharjah Decadal Telescope (SDRT), which in turn consists of two arrays of dipole antennas designed to operate on the short-wave band at a frequency of 20.1 MHz, in order to monitor the sun, Jupiter and the Sharjah Observatory The 40-meter radio interferometer, which monitors the universe at a frequency of 1.4 GHz, and works to capture and analyze radio waves emitted by Jupiter and the Sun, in addition to studying the radio background of the Milky Way.. Recently, a solar radio spectrometer was built that operates within a wide range of frequencies Which corresponds to short wavelengths with a length of only a few meters, and consists of a single antenna designed to receive a full beam of radio waves (25-55 MHz), which is the most important beam in this type of studies. On the one hand, and the low coefficient of exposure to radio interference, on the other.

This spectrometer enables Academy researchers to record and study the different types of solar radio bursts associated with solar flares that began to increase with the development of the 25th solar activity cycle. The Sharjah Radio Interference Observatory (SRI) monitors many giant radio astronomical objects (GRS), and the observation process aims to study and understand the relationship between the nuclei of systems and radio objects and the total brightness of these objects.

The High Energy Astrophysics Laboratory focuses on the study of systems radiating in the high-energy electromagnetic range, and is studied by analyzing observational results from X-ray telescopes operated by international space agencies, for example the Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Newton Multiple Telescope. Mirrors (XMM-Newton), the Nustar telescope and many others.. Among the astronomical systems that are studied in this laboratory: X-ray binaries, which consist of an ordinary star in its orbit a compact body (usually a neutron star or a black hole).

The normal star in the binary system is the “giver star”, and the “compact body” is the “accumulator star”, and this binary system radiates during its dynamic movement (X-ray radiation), and the X-rays emitted from the binary system arise due to the fall of matter from the given star on the The accumulating star forms a disk around this star called the (accumulation disk) due to the accumulation of material from the given star around the accumulating star.

The objectives of the AI ​​Lab are to develop Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) algorithms that can be harnessed to serve all the Academy’s research laboratories, and it promotes work on multidisciplinary projects that include computer science with space science and astronomy, and the lab is currently integrating Artificial intelligence in the project of the Emirates Network for Meteor and Meteor Monitoring, the Dhimatric Radio Telescope, and the Space Weather Laboratory to predict ionospheric luminescence, and build a model that includes artificial intelligence algorithms and a drone to detect meteorites.

Aisha Al-Owais added: “The Planetarium seeks to display its satellite programs and films within a schedule that divides the morning, noon and evening periods, using high-resolution devices in Arabic and English with 13 different films about space and astronomy being shown. The celestial sphere and the transition from time to time and from one location to another on Earth as well as from one planet to another planet with a 360-degree field of view around the visitors, in addition to that, the dome presents programs about space, travel technology and living in space focused on the International Space Station that is accurately simulated in A dome with a diameter of 18 meters. Visitors also have the opportunity to practically test astronomical and space theories through more than 70 experiments and astronomical and space exhibits in the space and astronomy exhibitions surrounding the planetarium at the Academy, available to all students and visitors.

In addition to space exhibitions and planetarium shows, the Planetarium implements space and astronomical camps that include scientific and practical workshops for students from the age of 14 to adults interested in space and astronomy, with the aim of developing students’ skills and information and polishing their knowledge and future skills for different disciplines in this field. A number of electronic scientific workshops developed by the Dome team to engage interested and amateurs with knowledge and remote interaction.

Aisha Al-Owais explained the Cosmic Garden, which is considered one of the distinctive and unique landmarks, which covers an area of ​​300,000 square meters, in which giant models such as the lunar landing unit were installed, a model of the same shape and real design of the natural size of the landing unit that landed on the moon in 1969, and it embraces the Cosmic Garden The golden planetarium located in its center, which represents the sun and surrounded by planets.. It enables visitors to enjoy a tour between the orbits of the planets and rest around their giant bodies that include Jupiter, Saturn, Mercury, Venus, Uranus and Neptune.

The cosmic garden also hosts the optical astronomical observatory, radio telescopes, which are two systems of three radio dishes, and another of four double antennas whose combined function is to listen to cosmic signals coming from astronomical bodies within the different radio wave bands to receive their waves emitted by solar storms, Jupiter and the center of the Milky Way. It also includes the three sky-watching towers to record the entry of meteors and meteorites, as well as any space debris such as satellite remnants. Each tower contains seventeen cameras covering the sky from all directions, as well as a special observatory to record meteorite collisions on the surface of the moon.

Regarding the Sharjah Optical Observatory, Aisha Al Owais explained that it is one of the most modern observatories in the Arab world, as it contains many modern astronomical instruments, which includes three telescopes of different diameters and uses, including: a reflecting telescope with a diameter of 431 mm, which is the largest in the United Arab Emirates, The best in the region in terms of meteorological accuracy, as this telescope is used for specialized astronomical observations, and for research projects, through devices attached to it that achieve this goal, such as digital cameras, and the spectrometer that is used in the spectroscopic analysis of stars. The Sharjah Observatory team is also working on several distinguished research projects, such as monitoring exoplanets, monitoring near-Earth asteroids, monitoring variable binary stars, monitoring stars and analyzing their spectra, in addition to research proposals by graduate students or professors at the University of Sharjah, and by the refractor telescope. With a diameter of 180 mm, it can monitor both the planets and the sun, and it provides the ability to zoom in to monitor their details, and to monitor the crescents of the beginning of the Hijri months. By passing a specific band of wavelength that shows details such as solar flares and magnetic filaments on the surface of the sun.

The observatory also plays an important role in providing activities and events to the public, students and amateurs, which contribute to refining scientific and astronomical knowledge and skills for different age levels, and in teaching astronomy and astrophysics through practical training for university students, and teaching them using a telescope and astronomical observation, with the aim of creating a live interactive scientific experience. , which consolidates the acquired information and opens the door for discussion on astronomical issues.. Among the most prominent workshops presented in the field are: observation of stellar planets, observation and analysis of binary stars, observation of the sun and analysis of meteorology, and the monitoring of a number of asteroids and near-Earth objects that can threaten the Earth .. Also, in cooperation with the Sharjah Education Council, outstanding students were selected to participate in specialized astronomical observations and analysis of meteorology using computer programs. Within the community initiatives, the observatory provides astronomical trips to the local community through a monthly program entitled “Open Day”, which is held inside the academy, through which it is explained Detailed information about telescopes and providing the public with information about the observatory’s working mechanism.


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