Remote Control Astronomy with the RAPTOR Telescope

This next article is for those who are “scopers” and understand the painstaking work required to map out stars, chart the skies, and all the other unsung work that comes with astronomy.

Apparently, some of the work that most astronomers did before can all be done via automation and remote control! At least for the RAPTOR, a robotic optical telescope array in New Mexico.

According to my source, the RAPTOR was able to track a rapidly rising light signal from a short gamma-ray burst. Apparently, these bursts are the forming of huge black holes are “the most powerful events since the Big Bang”. When these were detected, the RAPTOR called an astronomer who lived 30 miles away to inform him of the discovery.

These bursts did not last very long, and the ROTSE-I (Robotic Optical Transient Search Experiment I) telescope was able to hone in on the signal a lot faster than a human could. This process will be even faster once the RAPTOR gets updated by the RAPTOR-K, which has “better optics and more processing power”.

So, pretty soon we might get all astronomical information from these new computerized telescopes. Still, we need those humans to make the really cool discoveries, right?