The group of five astronomers, participants of the BELISSIMA project, from the Astronomical Observatory of Belgrade (Dr. Milan Bogosavljević, Dr. Oliver Vince and PhD students Ms. Monika Jurković, Mr. Milan Stojanović, and Mr. Nemanja Martinović) participated in the work of the Second Workshop on Robotic Autonomous Observatories in Malaga, Spain. The workshop was organized from 5th to 10th of June, 2011. It was divided into nine sessions:

I. New hardware and software development; various robotic observatories were introduced and
presented: Javalambre observatory (Spain), Baker observatory (USA), MITSUME telescope
(Japan), CHASE-500 telescope (Chile), STELLA telescope (Spain) etc.

II. Real-time analysis pipelines; several software packages were presented in this session which
enable faster observations and data reduction (automatization).

III. Archiving the data and quality control; the big problem in astronomy is the data storage of
huge amount of data collected during many years of observations and this issue was discussed in
this session. Virtual Observatories (VO) tools, which are extremely helpful were also discussed.

IV. Telescope and observatory control system; telescope control systems (TCS) were presented in
this session. Some of them are AUDELA, RTS2, STELLA control system and LAMOST control
system. As the only open-source code, the RTS2 is particularly interesting for the planned
"Milanković"" telescope. It was developed by Petr Kubanek (who came to the executive meeting
in Prokuplje in September 2010, see his presentation is available here) and his collaborators from the Czech

V. Scientific results obtained by means of robotic observatories; some recent scientific results
obtained by robotic telescopes were presented in this session. Main scientific topics carried out
using this kind of telescopes are Gamma Ray Burst follow-ups, exoplanets, variable stars etc.

VI. Global networks and protocols; there are several major projects connecting dozens of tele-
scopes into network (BOOTES, MASTER etc.). There are plenty of astronomical phenomena
which require simultaneous observation and/or long-term monitoring, thus the network of tele-
scopes is needed.

VII. Public outreach and citizen science; the role of robotic telescopes in educating students of
various ages was discussed in this session.

VIII. Educational application; benefits of using robotic telescope in education was discussed in
this section.

IX. Future strategies; projects of new planned robotic telescopes were presented in this session.

Dr. Milan Bogosavljević gave a talk in this session of the conference. He presented the
BELISSIMA project as well as many details regarding the future 1.5-class telescope.




At the Workshop the BELISSIMA group had two presentations in which they presented work of the BELISSIMA project:


1) Dr. Milan Bogosavljević in his talk presented the future robotic telescope "Milanković" to be
mounted at the Astronomical Station Vidojevica (ASV).

2) Other participants from the team presented a poster with the details on the 60cm telescope
and other instruments which have been recently installed on the ASV. Nemanja Martinović briefly
presented the poster in a 2 minute talk.



From left to right: Monika Jurković, Nemanja Martinović, Milan Stojanović, Dr. Oliver Vince and Dr. Milan Bogosavljević.


Dr. Milan Bogosavljević is presenting the project of the "Milanković" telescope.



Last Updated on Monday, 20 June 2011 10:09


In the library of the Astronomical Observatory of Belgrade (AOB) a two-day seminar within the scope of the BELISSIMA project was organized on May 30th and 31st, 2011. The seminar was dedicated to photometric and spectroscopic measurements during which the participants learned the details about the spectrometer to be used at the 60cm telescope at the Astronomical Station Vidojevica was given by Prof. Dr. Ištvan Vince, the leader of Work Package 2.

The first day Prof. Vince dedicated to the explanation photometric observations and the principles of taking the spectra, errors present in the procedures and the methods to reduce them as much as possible. Using various examples, Prof. Vince showed how the errors appear and how to eliminate them producing the spectra without artifacts.

The second day was dedicated to the spectrograph and the description of its parts. Prof. Vince used the Solar light to produce the spectrum in the library. Using the light which came from the window of the library he managed to show the sodium line in the spectrum. Prof. Vince also showed the details of the processing of the observed data, such as wavelength calibration.

This very interesting seminar was presented in an accessible way thus making it understandable even to the participants who encountered photometry and spectroscopy for the first time in their careers.

Fifteen researchers and students attended the seminar. AOB staff: Jelena Kovačević, Monika Jurković, Milan Stojanović, Dr. Oliver Vince, Nemanja Martinović, Dr. Gojko Đurašević, Dr. Goran Damljanović, Atila Čeki, Milena Jovanović, Veselka Trajkovska and Olivera Latković.

Students of astrophysics: Neda Stojković, Sanja Lazarević and Dobroslav Slijepčević.

President of Amateur Astronomers Association of Serbia (SAAS): Dragan Radmilović.





The presentation of Prof. Vincea is available here.



Last Updated on Monday, 20 June 2011 09:50



On the 12th of May 2011, in the amphitheater of the department of Natural Science and Mathematics, Niš University, an award ceremony was held for the primary and secondary school students and their achievements in physics competitions. Dr. Milan Bogosavljevic and Dr. Miroslav Mićić were invited as special guests and on that occasion have presented the latest astronomical events in Serbia as well as plans for the future of astronomy in Serbia. Dr. Milan Bogosavljević presented BELISSIMA project and the plans for building of a 1.5 meter telescope at the top of mountain Vidojevica, while Dr. Miroslav Mićić presented opportunities for the future research on supercomputers in Serbia with the talk  “Supermassive Black Holes”. On this occasion, they have established cooperation with the Society of Physicists of Niš and contracted future projects related to astrophysical simulations and visualization for the purposes of public outreach (Work Package 3, WP3).


In a similar capacity, on 16th of May 2011, Dr. Milan Bogosavljević and Dr. Miroslav Mićić featured as guests at the astronomy seminar in the Research Center in Petnica where Dr. Bogosavljević trained the participants to operate the 1.5 meter telescope in Texas with the aim of observing a very special class of objects, comets in the asteroid belt. This is just one of many projects that are already planned for the future research performed on the 1.5-meter telescope at Vidojevica to be built within the project BELISSIMA.

Dr. Miroslav Mićić presents the talk  “Supermassive Black Holes” in Niš on May 12th, 2011.


The audience follows the talk of Dr. Miroslav Mićić.

Last Updated on Monday, 20 June 2011 10:16



In April and May 2011 numerous preparations have been done related to the beginning of operation of the 60cm telescope on the Mt. Vidojevica near Prokuplje. This telescope was bought using the funds of the Astronomical Observatory of Belgrade (AOB) provided by the Ministry of Science and Technological development of the Republic of Serbia (presently Ministry of Education and Science). This telescope is a precursor of the planned telescope “Milanković” which will be mounted in its vicinity. Observations which the 60cm telescope will provide will enable the participants of the BELISSIMA project to choose the best configuration of the “Milanković” telescope.


Several months after the mounting of the telescope which happened in October 2010, on April 8th 2011, it was finally put into operation: on that day, for the purpose of calibration of the telescope, Mr. Phillipp Keller (the constructor of the telescope) and Mr. Miroslav Taubenberger, the constructor of the mounting from ASA (Astr System Austria) company came to Vidojevica. On behalf of AOB the guests were welcomed at the Niš airport “Constantin the Great” by Dr. Zoran Knežević, director of AOB and Dr. Milan Bogosavljević, technical director of the Vidojevica station. The guests arrived with the private plane belonging to the owner of the ASA company. A day earlier a team for AOB had arrived to Vidojevica: Dr. Oliver Vince,  scientific associate of AOB, Ms. Milena Jovanović, research apprentice of AOB and PhD student, and Mr. Dragan Radmilović, the head of the Association of astronomers amateurs of Serbia.


In the twilight of April, 8th the calibration of the telescope started. which was supposed to last several hours due to very slow rotation of the cupola. The calibration of the telescope was done by using 20 stars where each one was on the opposite side  to another. At 03:10 the telescope was pointed to Saturn: the quality was excellent and the planet was seen extremely good with a magnification of 600. On the first night several Messier objects was observed (M4, M104, M51, M27, M13 etc). All observers, most with a significant observational experience, very satisfied.


This is a Ritchey-Chrétien telescope with a primary mirror of 60 cm and a secondary mirror of 20 cm. The telescope has a possibility to reduce its focal length from 600 cm (f=10) to 300 cm (f=5) by using a reducer. The positioning of the telescope is done by using programs Autoslew and Sky 6. The communication between the telescope and the computer is done by using ASCOM driver. On the next day, on Saturday, April 9th, the training was organized and it was aimed at operating the telescope. Unfortunately, because of unannounced interruption of the power supply it was of smaller intensity than planned. Later in the afternoon of April 9th a larger team of researchers from AOB arrived at Vidojevica: Dr. Zorica Cvetković, senior scientific associate of AOB,  Ms. Jelena Kovačević, research apprentice of AOB and PhD student, Mr. Marko Stalevski, research apprentice of AOB and PhD student, and Ms. Monika Jurković, research apprentice of AOB and PhD student. Their task was to make test images using CCD cameras owned by AOB. Unfortunately, because of the repeated interruption of power supply the test exposures could not have been performed. However, it was established that for mounting the cameras on the telescope it was necessary to provide appropriate adapters. Because of these problems, the Newton 200/1000 telescope owned by Mr. Dragan Radmilović was used: by using

this instrument the search for various celestial objects was trained taking the advantage of excellent visibility at the Mt. Vidojevica.


From April 18-20th, several observers came to Vidojevica to test the camera: Dr. Oliver Vince, Dr. Milan Bogosavljević, Mr. Nemanja Martinović,  research apprentice of AOB and PhD student, Mr. Milan Stojanović,  research apprentice of AOB and PhD student, and Mr. Dragan Radmilović. The first night because of the poor weather conditions was not suitable for the observing and taking images and therefore only the training related to mounting of the cameras and the work with the telescope were performed. In the office of the main building the cameras and the computer to which there were attached were tested. However, after several attempts and various adjustments of drivers they could not be started.


At the beginning of this month, from May, 4-6th, a team from AOB  with the equipment came to Vidojevica: Dr. Oliver Vince, Dr. Milan Bogosavljević, Mr. Nemanja Martinović, Ms. Monika Jurković, Ms. Milena Jovanović and Mr. Dragan Radmilović. On that occasion first exposures using the CCD camera SBIG 10 were taken. That was the opportunity to train the establishing of the focus, expositions needed and other necessary observational activities. The images made during the first two nights were of satisfactory quality (see the images of spiral galaxies M51 and M66).


The next visit will be used to test the possibilities of the instruments when the images of distant objects with large magnitudes are taken. The limiting values of the separation of binary stars as well as possibilities of photometric and spectroscopic observations  will be studied.


Several Web pages related to the observations from the Mt. Vidojevica are now in preparation and after intensive testing will be available to users.


Dragan Radmilović and Miroslav Taubenberger mount the telescope.



The primary mirror



The covered telescope


The spiral galaxy M51


The spiral galaxy M66







Last Updated on Friday, 10 June 2011 12:02

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