The Permanent Watch of the Sky

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Seeing big is one thing but managing priorities is more important. The era of giant telescopes does not sign the death of “small” university instruments from 0.5 to 3 m of opening. Indeed, far from being museum pieces, the “small” telescopes have the advantage of being numerous and much more available than the giants of astronomy whose observation sessions are planned months in advance .

In the framework of the asteroid monitoring programs, in particular Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs) gravitating near the Earth, these telescopes are the first ones solicited to ensure the permanent watch of the sky that can no longer ensure the largest telescopes .

Since 1995, small telescopes have been installed at Kitt Peak (Spacewatch program) and especially at the Catalina Observatory (CSS program), supported by a network of knowledgeable amateurs equipped with telescopes ranging from 200 to over 500 mm. diameter monitor the sky. Each year, this community with sharp eyes discovers about 1000 new asteroids as well as various transient phenomena (supernovae, etc.).

Among these bodies, each year we discover on average 21 NEOs measuring more than 1 km moving close to the Earth but also sometimes small bodies measuring just 10 or 15 m in diameter and may cause a regional disaster. We will come back in another article on the impact stories and the management of this risk.

231 thoughts on “The Permanent Watch of the Sky

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    Sulphite (Sulfite) Free Wine
    It is impossible to make a sulfite-free wine, because wine yeast produces sulfur dioxide (SO2) during the fermentation process. However, you can reduce and control the amount of sulphites in your wine by how much / whether you use metabisulphite in your home winemaking.

    It is true that metabisulphite is an effective and safe method of sterilising both your must and equipment, but if you don’t mind taking a little bit of risk you can make wine without it. Using boiling water to sterlise your equipment and must, whilst a bit more risky in terms of your wine getting an infection, may be a worthwhile trade-off in your opinion especially if you have a sensitivity to sulphites. You can also choose to rinse your equipment that has been sterlised with metabisulphite with cooled boiled water to reduce the amount of sulphites you are adding to your wine. Also, if you are planning on drinking your wine young, the alcohol in the wine will act as a preservative, negating the need to add metabisulphite throughout the winemaking process as a preservative.

    Some people use chlorine bleach to sterlise their equipment rather than metabisulphite. Also some homebrew stores sell a pink powder as a sanitiser which is a chlorinated product. This is NOT recommended. Chlorine is quite a dangerous product to have around wine. With improper use and insufficient rinsing chlorine residue may get into the wine. If it does, it could easily be converted to trichloroanisole (TCA) the major chemical found in cork taint (mustiness). For this reason, chlorine is almost never used in wineries.

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