Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute

Rosman, NC, United States

Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute

Rosman, NC, United States
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News Article | May 9, 2017
Site: www.prnewswire.com

"We commend MCNC for taking the initiative to evidence that their control environment has been implemented successfully and is operating as intended," said Juan Vargas, Senior IT Security Auditor, Assure Professional. "It is admirable for a company to provide this assurance to their users." The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) is the governing organization for SOC 2. In 2012, MCNC achieved SOC Type I certification. Type I reports examine policies and procedures placed in operation at a specific moment in time. Type II reports are more comprehensive and designed for advanced IT service providers as systems are evaluated for a minimum of six months to a year. Organizations that undergo this independent review and achieve this level of certification by meeting very stringent requirements have proven that its entire system is designed to keep its customers' sensitive data secure. "In today's cyber environment where third-party vendor risk is at an all-time high, it is imperative that customers look for solutions that can provide baseline security controls for the protection of their data," said Maria Thompson, State Chief Risk Officer with the N.C. Department of Information Technology, noting that NC DIT requires all state agencies to certify the facilities housing state data are appropriately secured. "Understanding that there is no 'silver bullet', a SOC 2 Type II certification is an industry best practice designed to identify organizations that can best meet the trust principles." MCNC Director of Security and Chief Security Architect Chris Beal explained that securing an organization's networking infrastructure requires employees and institutions alike to proactively manage and protect personal and organizational assets. He says MCNC manages security threats and responses in the context of business risks and continues to strengthen its ability to rapidly detect and respond to security threats on NCREN. "MCNC recognizes the increasing importance of ensuring our services are secure and resilient in the face of cyber threats," said Beal. "The SOC 2 Type II standard sets a clear bar for appropriate security and risk management practices, and then goes a step further to ensure the right controls are in place, signifying our commitment to operating a secure data center." MCNC employs an experienced team of engineers to efficiently run and manage its data centers. MCNC's 5,000 square-foot data center in Research Triangle Park is SOC 2 Type II compliant. MCNC also has a data center presence at the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI) in Rosman that has more than 1,500 square-feet, raised-floor space in a building constructed to stringent U.S. Department of Defense standards. "From basic broadband to advanced services for experimental networks, MCNC is instrumental in connecting millions of North Carolinians with reliable and forward-thinking technology solutions," said Jean Davis, MCNC President and CEO. "This extensive effort to validate our security protocols and procedures further demonstrates our commitment to our customers with a structured approach to risk management." MCNC offers colocation, data protection, and managed hosting within its data centers. MCNC's Network Operations Center (NOC) staff and Client Network Engineers (CNE) offer a range of expertise from the most basic managed hosting services to more advanced performance monitoring, digital diagnostics, architecture assessments and planning, system tuning, IT management, and planning services. For more information, view the MCNC Service Catalog. For more information and specifics about MCNC Security, visit here. MCNC, a technology nonprofit that builds, owns and operates the North Carolina Research and Education Network (NCREN), has served research, education, non-profit health care and other community institutions with Internet connectivity in the state for more than 30 years. NCREN is the fundamental broadband infrastructure for more than 500 of these institutions including all K-20 education in North Carolina. As one of the nation's premier middle-mile networks, MCNC leverages high-speed fiber on NCREN to customize Internet services and related applications for each customer while supporting private service providers in bringing cost-efficient connectivity to rural and underserved communities in North Carolina. Visit www.mcnc.org. MCNC Social:Facebook, Twitter@MCNC,YouTube,Google+,LinkedIn. Editorial Contact Noah Garrett, NGC Communications, on behalf of MCNC: (252) 423.1277 or press@mcnc.org To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/mcnc-boosts-cybersecurity-on-north-carolina-research-and-education-network-300454279.html

Samec R.G.,Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute | Samec R.G.,Emmanuel College at Franklin Springs | Benkendorf B.,Bob Jones University | Dignan J.B.,Bob Jones University | And 3 more authors.
Astronomical Journal | Year: 2015

HR Bootis is a neglected binary that is found to be a solar-type (G2V) extreme mass ratio binary (EMRB). It was discovered by Hanley & Shapley in 1940. Surprisingly, little has been published in the intervening years. In 1999 it was characterized by a 0.31587 day orbital period. Since that time it has been observed by various observers who have determined ∼20 timings of minimum light over the past ∼15,000 orbits. Our observations in 2012 represent the first precision curves in the BVRcIc Johnson-Cousins wavelength bands. The light curves have rather low amplitudes, averaging some 0.5 magnitudes, yet they exhibit total eclipses, which is typical of the rare group of solar-type EMRBs. An improved linear ephemeris was computed along with a quadratic ephemeris showing a decaying orbit, which indicates magnetic breaking may be occurring. The light curve solution reveals that HR Boo is a contact system with a somewhat low 21% Roche-lobe fill-out but a mass ratio of q = 4.09 (0.2444), which defines it as an EMRB. Two spots, both hot, were allowed to iterate to fit the light curve asymmetries. Their radii are 32and 16. Both are high-latitude polar spots indicative of strong magnetic activity. The shallow contact yet nearly equal component temperatures makes it an unusual addition to this group. © 2015. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved..

Samec R.G.,Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute | Kring J.D.,Bob Jones University | Robb R.,University of Victoria | Van Hamme W.,Florida International University | Faulkner D.R.,University of South Carolina
Astronomical Journal | Year: 2015

GSC 3208 1986 is an NSVS and TYCHO binary, first observed from 1999 to 2000. It is a W UMa binary with a period of 0.405 days. The present observations were taken in 2012 September and are of high precision, averaging a standard deviation of better than 5 mmag. The amplitude of the light curve is very nearly 0.5 mag yet it undergoes total eclipses. Dominion Astrophysical Observatory spectra give an F3V type (T ∼ 6900 K) for the system, the earliest of the extreme mass ratio W UMa binaries. The linear period determination of 0.4045672 days was calculated with the two sets of epochs available. An early NSVS light curve reveals that the period has been smoothly decreasing over its past 12,000 orbits. The binary may be undergoing sinusoidal oscillations due to the presence of a third body, possibly with a period of 23 ± 3 years. The high inclination of 85° results in a long duration secondary total eclipse, lasting some 49.5 minutes. Findings indicate that GSC 3208 1986 is an immaculate extreme mass ratio, q(m2/m1) = 0.24, A-type W UMa binary. © 2015. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

Makela J.J.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign | Meriwether J.W.,Clemson University | Ridley A.J.,University of Michigan | Ciocca M.,Eastern Kentucky University | Castellez M.W.,Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute
International Journal of Geophysics | Year: 2012

The North American Thermosphere Ionosphere Observing Network (NATION), comprising a new network of Fabry-Perot interferometers (FPIs), to be deployed in the Midwest of the United States of America is described. FPIs will initially be deployed to four sites to make coordinated measurements of the neutral winds and temperature in the Earths thermosphere using measurements of the 630 nm redline emission. The observing strategy of the network will take into account local observing conditions, and common volume measurements from multiple sites will be made in order to estimate local vector wind quantities. The network described is expandable, and as additional FPI sites are installed in North America, or elsewhere, the goal of providing the upper atmospheric research community with a robust dataset of neutral winds and temperatures can be achieved. Copyright © 2012 Jonathan J. Makela et al.

Englert C.R.,U.S. Navy | Harlander J.M.,St. Cloud State University | Brown C.M.,U.S. Navy | Meriwether J.W.,Clemson University | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics | Year: 2012

The thermospheric wind is a critical geophysical parameter for understanding the behavior of the Earth's upper atmosphere. Global-scale characterization of this parameter is needed to enable improved specification and forecasting of the near space environment. Global-scale measurements of horizontal wind vectors versus altitude have been performed from satellites using a variety of techniques, but the available data are still sparse. To address some of the challenges presented by space-based thermospheric wind measurement, the Doppler Asymmetric Spatial Heterodyne (DASH) technique has recently been developed. Here we present results of a ground-based validation of the DASH technique. The successful validation was performed by conducting collocated ground-based measurements with an instrument that uses the well established Fabry-Perot interferometer technique. Due to cloud cover and a limited observation period, data for only one night of simultaneous observations with minor cloud interference were obtained. The wind velocities observed by the two techniques show good overall agreement, but differences larger than the combined uncertainties are present at times. Contributions to these larger disagreements could be due to cloud interference, the minor differences in the observation geometry, or a non-zero vertical wind. A comparison of this single night of data with the Horizontal Wind Model (HWM07) climatology shows differences of up to about 100 m/s on timescales of less than an hour to several hours. © 2012.

News Article | February 23, 2017
Site: www.csmonitor.com

In this July 24, 1969 file photo, the Apollo 11 command module lands in the Pacific Ocean and the crew waits to be picked up by US Navy personnel after an eight day mission to the moon. The Apollo 11 command module, which traveled more than 950,000 miles to take Americans to the moon and back in 1969, is going on a road trip, leaving the Smithsonian for the first time in more than four decades. —After finding a home at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. for more than four decades, the command module of the historic moon-mission spacecraft Apollo 11 is going on “a road trip.” The tour, featuring a new exhibit, will visit four cities across the country, only its second tour since its splash-landing back on Earth on July 24, 1969. While the tour is planned to celebrate the upcoming 50th anniversary of the momentous event in US space history, the announcement comes at a time when Americans may be en route to explore another foreign body in space: Mars. The command module, the only part of the spacecraft that returned to Earth after an eight-day mission to the moon, proved hugely popular during its first tour around the country, when more than three million people saw it and an accompanying moon rock. Visitors often waited hours to get inside a trailer that housed the capsule, as it traveled to every single state capital except Juneau of Alaska – although it did stop in Anchorage. The new tour will act as a preview for a exhibition at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, coming in 2021, that tells the story of the Apollo missions. “While we're preparing for its new home we could share it with other venues and have some broader access to it,” Allan Needell, the curator of the Smithsonian's space history department, told the Associated Press, adding that the other option would be just to store the capsule, whose interior is about the size of a car. The new touring exhibition, "Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission," is slated to open this October in Houston and travel through St. Louis, Pittsburgh, and Seattle for the next two years, spending about five months at each site. Interactive 3-D technology will also be used in the new tour, as visitors explore the inside and outside of where astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins worked and lived during the mission. Other objects used in the lunar mission, such as gloves and a “rock box” used to bring back samples from the moon, will also be presented together with the capsule. The tour comes at a time of intense interest in exploring another body in space: the Red Planet. With the goal of sending human beings to Mars in the 2030s, NASA has published plans for a journey to Mars, laying out potential phases of "Earth Reliant," "Proving Ground," and "Earth Independent" exploration. However, despite NASA’s bold vision to embrace Mars exploration, government auditors have expressed concerns about the plan's feasibility, questioning the agency's ability to meet deadlines given insufficient funding and internal management problems. While the steps to Mars might still be several years away, Americans can reminisce and celebrate the success of Apollo 11 through the new tour. "For the first time, people actually saw 'Spaceship Earth,' and it prompted many people to begin thinking differently about our planet," Don Cline, the president and founder of the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute, told USA TODAY in 2014, remembering the legacy of the lunar mission. "Someone once observed, 'On the way to the moon we discovered the Earth.'" This report includes material from the Associated Press.

Samec R.G.,Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute | Koenke S.S.,Bob Jones University | Faulkner D.R.,University of South Carolina
Astronomical Journal | Year: 2015

A 2012 follow up to the analysis of 2009 observations is presented for the very short period (∼0.43 days) precontact W UMa binary (PCWB) V1001 Cassiopeia. Its short period, similar to the majority of W UMa binaries, and its distinct EA light curve make it a very rare and interesting system for continuing photometric investigation. Previous photometric VRI standard magnitudes give a K4 spectral type. Our solutions of light curves separated by some three years give approximately the same physical parameters. However, the spots have radically changed in temperature, area, and position. While only one dark spot was used to model the first curves, two hot spots are now needed. This affects the overall shape of the light curve, especially in the secondary eclipses in B and V. Additional eclipse timings now show that the orbital period is changing. We conclude that spots are very active on this solar-type dwarf system and that it may mimic its larger cousins, the RS CVn binaries. The conclusion is that analysis now needs to be directed at the continuous time evolution of PCWBs. © 2015. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved..

Samec R.G.,Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute | Clark J.D.,Bob Jones University | Van Hamme W.,Florida International University | Faulkner D.R.,University of South Carolina
Astronomical Journal | Year: 2015

Complete Bessel BVRI light curves of ZZ Eridani [2MASS J04130109-1044545, HV 6280, NSVS 14888164 α(2000) = 04h13m1s10, δ(2000) = -10°44′54″.5 (ICRS), V = 13.9-14.4-15.0] are observed and analyzed. The system is a southern pre-contact W UMa binary. Its light curve has the appearance of an Algol (EA) light curve, however, it is made up of dwarf solar-type components with a period of only 0.4521 days. Our 34 year period study yields a sinusoidal fit or an increasing quadratic fit. The sinusoid may indicate that a third body is orbiting the close binary. The lower-limit mass of the third body is near that of the brown dwarf limit (0.095 M⊙). Also included is an improved ephemeris, a mass ratio search, and a simultaneous BVRI Wilson-Devinney solution. © 2015. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

McCollum B.,California Institute of Technology | McCollum B.,Catholic University of America | Laine S.,Spitzer Science Center | Vaisanen P.,South African Astronomical Observatory South African Large Telescope | And 7 more authors.
Astronomical Journal | Year: 2014

Nova Sco 2008 was recently shown to have resulted from the merger of the two stars in the contact binary V1309 Sco. This is the first stellar merger ever observed between two convective stars. We present archival data, new infrared photometry, and Hubble Space Telescope WFC3 imaging of V1309 Sco. Spitzer observations show that it had a large infrared excess in the 3.6 μm to 8 μm range more than a year before the merger. Standard color diagnostics of the pre-merger infrared colors place V1309 Sco in the same region where evolved stars with chemically complex mass loss are located. Since the nova outburst subsided in optical bandpasses in 2008, the merger remnant's brightness in optical bandpasses, near-IR bandpasses, and the Spitzer 3.6 μm and 4.5 μm channels has varied by several magnitudes and in complex ways. A temporary, strong increase in the reddening during 2010 suggests the occurrence of a dust formation event. We point out several peculiarities in the relative fluxes and time behavior of the optical and near-IR magnitudes, which could be explained if some of the photometric bandpasses in the 1-5 μm range are strongly affected by emission lines. © 2014. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved..

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