September 8, 2018 @ 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Main Yurt & Tent
Alan Goldberg

Tom Finkenbinder / NOVAC

 3:00 p.m. — Skynet virtual observatory and multi-messenger astronomy


Tom will present an update on Skynet, a network of public access remote observatories, including growth of the program, and new modifications to the network to accommodate the field of Multi-Messenger Astronomy. Multi-Messenger Astronomy is the collective name for professional and amateurs to observe astrophysical phenomena as revealed by an increasing number of techniques. Finding electromagnetic counterparts for gravity-wave detections is an obvious, recent development.


Tom has been a NOVAC member since 2002. His academic and professional background in electrical engineering provided him with a strong foundation in communication systems related to the Internet. That work experience and a rekindled interest in astronomy from childhood created curiosity about automated observatories, whose use and availability grew around the world. Tom completed his Messier Certificate in 2007, mostly at Camp Highroad, Virginia, with a 5-inch APO and O’Meara’s well-known book, Deep Sky Companions: The Messier Objects. He has given talks on his interests before at AHSP.  He also presents to K–12 and adult education groups, and by invitation at George Mason University.