The Kottamia Center of Scientific Excellence in Astronomy and Space Sciences is Funded by Science and Technology Development Fund (STDF) in order to develop Kottamia Astronomical Observatory (KAO).

  • Photo of the opening Ceremony from left: Prof Amr Adly (former executive director of the STDF), Prof. Sherif Hammad (former minister of the Scientific Research), Prof. Hatem Odah fomer head of NRIAG and Prof. Somaya Saad (head of Kottamia Center of Scientific Excellence)

  • The observatory’s dome that houses a 74 inch Telescope which has been upgraded with its accessories since 1995. This telescope is the largest in the middle East and North Africa.

  • The 74 inch Kottamia telescope.

  • Prof. Sherif Hammad the former minister of the Scientific Research writing a congratulation for Kottamia Center of Scientific Excellence during opening ceremony


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Location

The Kottamia Center of Scientific Excellence in Astronomy and Space Sciences is located at Kottamia Astronomical Observatory (KAO). The Kottamia Observatory was established 1964, North East of Eastern desert , 80 Km from Helwan, with height 476 meter (above sea level).

The Geographical coordinates of the Center are Latitude 29o 55' 48'' N. and Longitude 31o 49' 30'' E. The observatory housed a 74 inch telescope which has been upgraded with its accessories since 1995.

This telescope is the largest in the middle East and North Africa, and it is automatically controlled. It is supplied by video system camera to trace the site within and outside the dome. Kottamia Observatory having at least 200 clear nights/year shared in many international astronomical projects and enjoyed a world reputation.


Scientific Goals of the Center

  1. Developing the observatory existing capabilities and introduce modern research branches in astronomy and space science aiming for more international competition in these research areas.
  2. Pushing Kottamia observatory to a higher rank between the international modern observatories and strengthen the bilateral cooperation between Kottamia observatory and other international observatories which will be reflected on the level of the researches outcome.
  3. Establishing a center for observational data analysis and interpretation in different wave bands of the electromagnetic radiation in particular space satellites observatories. This center will complete the optical telescopes data which is limited into narrow range of wave lengths (about 290—1000 nm) even after increasing the sensitivity of the photographic techniques.
  4. Establishing a center for detection of Extrasolar planets. The observational techniques to detect evidence of other planetary systems are developed sufficiently to offer a promising search now.
  5. Establishing a training center for the Arabian and African young Astronomers -graduate and undergraduate students-. This center will be a leader in the Arabic and African countries by virtue of its qualified staff and his past successful experience in this trend.
  6. Establishing Virtual Observatory, which is an international project to collect space astronomical data, organize them and develop the tools that led astronomers to access these huge amount of information.

OBJECTIVES OF THE OPTICAL ASTRONOMY

  1. The Study of variable stars and Binary systems which are already one of the programs in Kottamia Observatory, will be continued.
  2. Modeling of stellar atmospheres.
  3. Using the space satellites data in different wave bands from radio to gamma ray region in treating, analyzing and interpreting the previously observed objects in the optical region will extend our informative view in the whole electromagnetic spectrum according to the available satellite data in the different wave bands. This in turn will help in strengthen the scientific discussions and comparative analysis about the objects studied.

OBJECTIVES OF THE VIRTUAL OBSERVATORY UNIT

  1. The (VO) is an International project to collect data, organize and develop tools that let astronomers accesses this huge amount of information. VO unit will collects, analyzes and interprets the available data in different wave bands and at different resolutions involving highly specialized instruments and techniques.
  2. Collecting space satellites and ships very huge, offered data, and facilitating the necessary international Coordination and collaboration for the development and deployment of the tools, systems and organizational structures necessary to enable the international utilization of astronomical archives as an integrated and interoperating virtual observatory.
  3. Playing a very important role in teaching astronomy in primary and secondary schools and in general for public.
  4. sharing in the training of young astronomers using real astronomical data.



What is the VO?

Data about the universe obtained by ground based telescopes and various observational instruments mounted on satellites is sorted as digital data in computers around the world.
This data collectively represent a virtual universe that can be observed via computer networks. An observatory for observing virtual universe is called virtual observatory (VO).
In other words, virtual observatory is a collection of interoperating data archives and software tools which utilize the internet to form a scientific research environment which astronomical research program can be conducted.




Why do astronomers need the VO?

As astronomers build more telescopes, the amount of data they collect increases exponentially. Astronomers are carefully studying each piece of data they collect, but data are most useful when studied along with other, related data. Today, so much data is being collected that astronomers cannot see or understand everyone else's data as well as their own. The VO will let astronomers easily search for data, from all instruments at all wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum, that will help them understand the universe.




What new discoveries will come from the VO?

As it is well known a huge amount of data from all wavelengths from radio to gamma rays are stored on the vo. Comparing these separate data sets, will lead to more complete understanding of the universe. Carrying out multi wave researches will help astronomers understand the distribution of stars in our galaxy, how and why stars and galaxies change with time. Search tools which will offer, astronomers can easily discover the most unusual celestial objects through this huge amount of data. Public outreach and education: Astronomy is the science in which the public is very much interested. EVO will provide the possibility of education for students and educators in addition to general interested information for the general public. EVO will include web based science projects from basic to advanced levels. The method differs from the traditional way. High-school students, teachers or interested amateurs can use the same scientists. During the studies they could feel how real research works and they could experience and learn both scientific and computer methods.

OBJECTIVES OF SPACE DATA ANALYSIS UNIT

  1. Studying of magnetic cataclysmic variables (CVs)
      ● CVs are short period binaries, in which a late type main sequence star transforms mass into magnetized white dwarf. This process is called accretion. It is observed in many different types of objects in the universe, such as young stellar objects, compact binary stars and active galactic nuclei. In these systems the accretion luminosity results from conversion of gravitational energy produced by nuclear fusion process in the core of the normal stars.
      ● Magnetic CVs are ideal plasma laboratories in which magneto-hydro dynamical problems and radiation process of the matter under extreme conditions (temp of about , field strength of ) can be studied in details.
  2. The analysis of X-ray data is divided into four package:
        a. Data presentation.
        b. Spatial analysis.
        c. Timing analysis.
        d. Spectral analysis.

OBJECTIVES OF TRAINING UNIT

  1. Training Egyptian, Middle East, Arab and African young astronomers, graduated and undergraduate students. By attending programs of lectures in different fields of astronomy divided into three stages, elementary, advanced and professional in addition to practical training on small telescopes and 74 inch telescope with advance sensors and techniques.
  2. Promotion of young researchers by attending a training program in astronomical observations using more advanced techniques and dealing with software packages of space data analysis, modeling and simulation.
  3. Strengthen the astronomical awareness of the public.




RECENT Workshops AND TRAINING PROGRAM


Recent Trends in Astronomy and Space Sciences, 22-23 October 2013

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The Symposium on “The Development of the Astronomical Observational Tools and its Technologies Over the Ages”, May 5th, 2014

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Virtual Observatory in Astrophysics 25-26 Aug. 2014

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Visit of the staff of Engineering college of Ain-Shams University to Kottamia Center of Scientific Excellence in Astronomy And Space Science, Nov. 13th , 2014

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The Optimal Way for Saving and Archiving the Astronomical Data and Observations

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Workshop on “Astronomical Observational Analysis using language of Python”, Feb. 23 to March 23, 2015

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Summer Practical Training Course for Undergraduate Student (Astronomy Dept.- Al-Azhar Univ.) 2015

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Lecture on “Implicit Coding of the Astronomical Images”

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Summer Practical Training Course for Undergraduate Student (Astronomy Dept. – Cairo Univ.) 2015

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Lecture about Interacting Galaxy from Images of Hubble Space Telescope

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Lecture about Cosmology in Frame of General Relativity Theory

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Lecture about Stellar Spectroscopy

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Lecture about Determine of the open Clusters parameters

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Lecture about Dynamics of Binary Stars

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Visit of a Scientific Group of Sudanese to Kottamia Observatory, Dec. 18th, 2014.

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OBJECTIVES OF EXO-SOLAR PLANET UNIT

  1. Detection of Extra Solar planets, by taking photometric observations for the stars of these planets to investigate its light curve for the expected object, aided by the 74 inches telescope of Kottamia, when it is possible.
  2. Collecting the data observed by other larger telescopes or obtained from outer space satellites as CoRot, Kepler and other satellites.
  3. Driving theoretical relations in the frame works of quantum gravity and fractal theories to predict theoretical orbital elements of some available extra- planetary systems.
  4. A comparison between observed and theoretical values will be done.
  5. Using theoretical formulae to predict the orbital element for some unknown elements.
  6. A classification for extra solar planets planet will be done.

OBJECTIVE OF EQUIPMENTS DEVELOPING AND MAINTENANCE UNIT

  1. Regular maintenance of the 74 and 14 inch telescopes and the attached equipments, in addition to the Aluminizer and the center of excellence equipments.
  2. Developing the Internet present at Kottamia Observatory to the standard that enables successful fulfillment of the research objectives of the center of excellence.
  3. Developing the software according to the center data interpretation and analysis.
  4. Putting the technical specifications of the equipments which will be purchased for the center of excellence.
  5. Suggesting any developments for the present capabilities and any future technical requirements for the center.

Egyptian Virtual Observatory (EVO)

One of the main objectives of the Kottamia center of Scientific Excellence in Astronomy and Space Sciences (KCScE) is to construct the Egyptian virtual observatory.
Construction of virtual observatory is a very big project which require a quit large fund and long term plan. We decide to start the first step in implementation of this project aiming for successful progress in the next steps to have at the end of this long term plan to have an Egyptian virtual observatory on a very high international standard.
The Egyptian virtual observatory will be the first one constructed in Africa and Arabic countries.


Public Outreach and Education

Astronomy is the science in which the public is very much interested. EVO will provide the possibility of education for students and educators in addition to general interested information for the general public. EVO will include web based science projects from basic to advanced levels. The method differs from the traditional way. High- school students, teachers or interested amateurs can use the same scientists. During the studies they could feel how real research works and they could experience and learn both scientific and computer methods.

About VO Egypt

Egyptian Virtual Observatory project belongs to Kottamia Center of Scientific Excellence for Astronomy and Space Sciences, National Research Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics (NRIAG). This project is supported by Science and Technological Development Fund (STDF) Grant No. 5217, Egyptian Ministry for Scientific Research.

Prof. Dr. Somaya Saad, (PI)

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Prof. Dr. Moneer Mahmoud Hamdy

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Prof. Dr. Mohamed Samir AbolAzm

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Prof. Dr. Abd Elfady Beshara

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Ass. Prof. Magdy Hanna

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Ass. Prof. Farag Ibrahim Al Naggy

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Ass. Prof. Ashraf Shaker

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Dr. Nasser Mohamed Ahmed

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Dr. Yasser Hendy

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Dr. Ali Takey

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Assistant Team

Ibrahim Zied Ibrahim (Ph. D. Student)

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Gamal Eldin Hamed (Ph. D. Student)

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Mohammed Ismail (Ph. D. Student)

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Doaa As-Said (Ph. D. Student)

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Mohamed Ahmed Al-khamisy (Ph. D. Student)

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Tarek Mahmoud Kamal (Ph. D. Student)

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Diaa Abd Elrady (Ph. D. Student)

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Mohamed Ahmed Abd El bar (Ph. D. Student)

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Ahmed Shokry (Ph. D. Student)

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Mohamed El Sadek (Ph. D. Student)

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Mona Molhem (Ph. D. Student)

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Sherihan Mohamed (Ph. D. Student)

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Mohamed Said Kotb Darwish (M. Sc. Student)

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Ahmed Fouad (M. Sc. Student)

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Ola Ali (M. Sc. Student)

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Noran Essam (M. Sc. Student)

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Mohamed Hassan El Depsey (M. Sc. Student)

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Amal Sayd Hamed El Sayd (M. Sc. Student)

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a- Why 2015 is the International Year of the light and light technologies?

It was not chance to choose 2015 to be the International Year of Light, In the sixty-eighth session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, held in 2013, acknowledged that 2015 is the International Year of the light, on the recognition of previous decisions were made in 1998 and 2006.
It is worth mentioning that the International Year of the light of the encounter with a group of events that played an important role in the history of light and these are dating back to 1000 and 200, 150, 100 and 50 years ago. These major scientific anniversaries that will be celebrated during IYL 2015 are:
    1. Anniversary of the passage of 1,000 years to spread the great works of Ibn al-Haytham on optics during the high-level of creativity and innovation in 1015.
    2. The expiration of 200 years, since the theory of Jean Augustine Vrinal (1815) to describe the light as a wave.
    3. Crossing about 150 years, when James Clerk Maxwell's theory appeared in (1865) to describe light as an electromagnetic.
    4. The passage of 100 years since the born of the general relativity theory by the great scientist Albert Einstein (1915), to confirm the central importance of light in both the space and time mode and of the embedding of light in cosmology through general relativity.
    5. Finally, the passage of 50 years on the discovery of Arno Allan Penzias and Robert Wilson the microwave background radiation in 1965, which is an echo of the origin of the universe, which enables us to "Map" universe as it had appeared after the Big Bang (Big Bang), who won by 13.7 billion years. And also to celebrate passing of 50 years Charles Kao’s achievements concerning the transmission of light in fibers for optical communication.



b- What are the goals of the International Year of the light?

The optics technology in the recent era has revolutionized the various communities field and domains through its applications in the fields of medicine, communications, entertainment and culture. The light-based industries became a major economic engine. In the absence of existing technologies on the light there are no solar panels and no lighting through bilateral light emitting LED, there is no computer hardware or mobile screens, no cameras or projectors, or magnetic resonance imaging, or machines to x-rays and many other applications.
For this reason The United Nations has approved the following objectives, for their achievement at the global level:
    1. Avoid light pollution and energy conservation.
    2. Strengthening the role of women and their role in the effective appreciation of science.
    3. Support the role of technological development for the use of light applied in our daily life.
    4. Dissemination of scientific culture among school and university students and to support the sustainable development of communities and socials.



c- Where we are from light years?

Many countries all over the world have been participating in the year of light, and we had the privilege of participating. The International Astronomical Union decides (acknowledged), that there would be an external contact point at National Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics Research. Prof. Dr. Abd El Fady B. Morcos, represents this point, his contacts (email: fadymorcos@nriag.sci.eg, fadymorcos@hotmail.com and abmorcos@yahoo.com
or mobile no. +201223662454).
iyl-img There is also another contact point at National Institute of Laser to represents Egypt in the African Laser Centre (ALC) and representative of this point Prof. Dr. Mohamed Abdel-Harith (email mharithm@niles.edu.eg).


IYL First Symposium on “Al Hassan Ibn Al Haytham, The Scientist Who Lit Up Our Route”, April 24, 2015

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IYL Second Symposium on “The Sun Passes Again On The Pharaohs Grandsons”, Aug. 19th, 2015

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