General FAQ General FAQ


Q: What is GLORIA?
A: GLORIA is a collaboration between institutions who operate robotic observatories and want to open them up to
public use. GLORIA is also the common software platform being built to enable members of the public to access
these instruments, to download and share data, and to do real science.

Q: What is an experiment?
A: An experiment is the basic way of doing scientific work in GLORIA. It may combine observations, archival data access, and advanced data processing in an educational way so that an inexperienced amateur astronomer can get in direct touch with the astronomical reality rather than being buried in difficult data processing.

Q: Can I design my own experiment?
A: Yes. If you are an advanced user and/or an experienced astronomer, you can create your own experiments. See the Authoring FAQ.

Q: I just want to carry out a particular observation – do I *have* to design my own experiment for this?
A: No. There are generic "experiments" providing direct access to the telescopes.

Q: What is the difference between online and offline experiments (aren't they all online)?
A: In the GLORIA context, online and offline refer to the telescope, not the user! Online experiments involve commanding a telescope to make observations. Offline experiments work with the resulting data.

Q: What kind of observations can be requested?
A: In general you may get direct access to the telescope controls, or you may ask for an observation to be
performed according to your specifications unattended. You may also search in the archival data. Different
experiments may help you while choosing and with definitions.

GLORIA will support observation of most celestial objects, ranging from the Sun (sunspots), Moon, planets, to stellar photometry and deep sky (galaxies, nebulae) imaging.

Q: What (and where) are the GLORIA telescopes?
A: There is no standard GLORIA telescope. GLORIA is made up of telescopes of many different sizes and types, with varying instrumentation and abilities. Similarly, they are scattered around the globe (Illustration 1) and are operated by many different institutions. Currently, there are 17 telescopes involved, but the system is designed for collaboration with new members. A full summary of the network is available here.

Q: Who can use them?
A: The telescopes are available to the public. Most of the telescopes belong to professional science programs, and
have heavy schedules with only a fraction of their time to GLORIA, so the availability of any given telescope may
be limited.