Astronomy outreach at IGN Yebes Observatory: SPIDER
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DESCRIPTIONDescription of the Small Parabollic Instrument for Demonstration and Education of Research (SPIDER).
Phone: (+34) 949290311 Fax: (+34) 949290063
Cerro de la Palera s/n 19141 - Yebes Guadalajara Spain
Phone: (+34) 949290311 Fax: (+34) 949290063 Email: email@example.com
The Center for Technological Developments (CDT) is a
branch of the National Geographic Institute of Spain. The
new Radio Telescope is opened for the scientific
community interested in Radio Astronomy.
The goal of SPIDER is to provide the opportunity for students
and visitors to operate a real radio telescope, in the
environment of the Yebes observatory, as the 40 meter dish is
not accessible to them. The instrument can be operated
remotely via internet. Many of the applications are still to be
designed, in coordination with other EVN observatories
which are part of the network of Visitor Centres (VC-Net)
sponsored by the EC FP7 project RadioNet.
Services Yebes Technological Development Center
Centro de Desarrollos Tecnolgicos de Yebes
Instituto Geogrfico Nacional (Spain)
Yebes Technological Development Center
SPIDER Main SpecificationsSPIDER Main SpecificationsSPIDER Main SpecificationsSPIDER Main Specifications
Angular resolutionAngular resolutionAngular resolutionAngular resolution 7deg @ 1420MHz
Rx BandwidthRx BandwidthRx BandwidthRx Bandwidth 2.4MHz
Rx Frequency channelsRx Frequency channelsRx Frequency channelsRx Frequency channels 256
Can be used remotelyCan be used remotelyCan be used remotelyCan be used remotely
SPIDER (Small Parabolic Instrument for Demonstration,
Education, and Research) is one of the outreach activities
performed st Yebes Observatory in Guadalajara. Built by the
Swedish company Are Elektronik following the principles of
the SALSA instrument developed by Onsala Space
Observatory, SPIDER is a fully operational 2.3 meters radio
telescope equipped with an L-band (21cm 1420MHz)
receiver and a spectrograph (352 channel correlator, 2.4MHz
total bandwidth). The beam width is 7 degrees. A low noise
preamplifier is mounted at the antenna focus and a coax cable
feeds the signal to a cabinet which contains the receiver,
power supplies and a modem. In the antenna vertex a small
dipole antenna is installed for calibration purposes. This radio
telescope is ideal for observing hydrogen in our galaxy, the
Milky Way. Radio observations are not affected by the
interstellar dust so it is possible to study the galaxy structure.
The main aim is to map the spiral arms of the Galaxy.
Hydrogen 21cm line Hydrogen (H) is the most abundant element in the Universe (it is
also abundant in our Galaxy). When a hyperfine transition occurs
the atomic Hydrogen falls to the ground state and it emits energy
in the form of electromagnetic radiation with a frequency of
This spin flips probability is once every 10 million years. It
should be hard to detect but huge amounts of atomic hydrogen in
the Galaxy makes the 21cm line easy to detect.
Radio Astronomy Observations
Observations in the Galactic disk. The purple line is the line of
sight. Radio lines in the spectrum correspond to spiral arms. They
are affected by the Doppler effect what gives us information
about speed of movement and also distance.
The Earth and the Sun are situated in one of the Spiral arms
(Orion arm), approximately 25000 light years from the center of
To obtain the structure of the Milky Way it is necessary to
observe at different galactic longitudes and, from this observa-
tions, calculate the distance to clouds of hydrogen.
Control ComputerControl ComputerControl ComputerControl Computer
VNC remote access VNC remote access VNC remote access VNC remote access
Control System and Software The Onsala software Qradio is used for controlling the radio
telescope. This software communicates with Kstars.
Milky Way artists viewMilky Way artists viewMilky Way artists viewMilky Way artists view
Perseus armCygnus arm
Quadrant I Quadrant IV
Sagittarius armCentaurus arm
Quadrant IIQuadrant III
10 kpc = 32 600 light-years
By means of VNC it is possible
to access SPIDER remotely.
Analysis of the observations
Sample of acquired spectrumSample of acquired spectrumSample of acquired spectrumSample of acquired spectrum