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رادیو کالج پارک



Report of The First Public Test of


Live Broadcasting from K1 Observatory

Transit of Mercury

May 7, 2003

By: Mohammad Akoochekian


End of an Action or Flying to Future?


After TIE, eStar, Schools Observatory, ETC; the Live Astronomy Programs; two HRC departments (Astronomy and IT Dept.) in joint project, established a live astronomy program called Phoenix. In this program, observers, astronomers, researchers, students and others can connect to Internet or HRC K1 observatory main server to live observation and CCD photography by direct telescope controlling.

Then in the first public test of Phoenix, We showed the transit of Mercury, completely live . Visitors could observe the sky of Iran with travel of Mercury over the Sun. About 5000 individuals around the world, look at the sky by the Phoenix eyes. Some of them sent emails and wrote us about their suggestions, problems, ideas, ... . We had 120 emails from Iran, USA, Jordan, UK, Japan, Taiwan, France, Belgium, ..., For example Alberto Urcelay:


" OK friends. That is a nice experience for you because I have been comparing your displays with those from England and yours are just fine. Anyway thank you for your views and again congratulations. I can tell you that I am a 60 year old person with a degree in Physics from Mexico City, so all this is great for me.

... I am in San Antonio, Texas USA.

Congratulations! "


  As we controlled the system activities, we answered the emails. This first test was very hard for us, because of great number of visitors. In some places, for example in Isfahan University of Technology, many of students were collected in a hall and looked at pictures which had being shown on long screen by video projector. Any way, our test results was suitable but there were some problems:

  • Data transfer rate was slow, the time between capturing pictures and showing on web was about 15 seconds.

  • Wind was blowing very fast and caused problems.

  • Telephone line was not digital, so disconnected some times.

  • Some times we lost the Mercury on screen, because of large zoom in telescope.

This program wasn't really Phoenix purpose, Phoenix is a program for direct communication between K1 observatory and users to control the k1 telescope and take CCD photos.

The HRC members who, established this live broadcasting were: Dr. Mohammad Rafienia (manager of HRC Astronomy Dept.) and Mohammad Akoochekian (HRC president). Davood Pooladsaz (Phoenix manager) was manager of live Phoenix in Isfahan university of technology. About 10 website (according to our information) introduced our program to their visitors, most important of them are:

Among our activities in K1, Mr. Niknam chief master of ShirinNam trading company (sponsor of Phoenix) came to observatory and saw the program and said his ideas to improve the Phoenix. 

Now, after this successful experience, we will wait for transit of Venus at May 2004. That will be more important for us. Venus is bigger than Mercury, so the transit will be more beautiful and interesting to look at.


HRC Shirin Nam





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Updated in "July 29, 2003" by HRC Internet Group