Found 109 talks archived in Telescopes and instrumentation

Thursday January 29, 2009
Dr. Christopher Watson
University of Belfast, Northern Ireland


SuperWASP is the UK's leading extra-solar planet detection program, having detected 22 of the 52 transiting planets known to date. This stems from the instruments ability to image ~500 square degrees every 60sec down to 16th mag (equivalent to the whole visible sky every 20 minutes). Recent experiments have shown that the data from SuperWASP can be reduced with 1 min of it being obtained and with further software development we will be able to identify transient sources within minutes of their observation. Detailed analysis of SuperWASP-N data has shown many populations of transient objects, including rapidly variable objects, which seem to correspond to extremely faint objects in the Sloan survey. Spectroscopy of these objects has proved challenging.

Monday January 26, 2009
Dr. Paolo Molaro
INAF, Osservatorio di Trieste, Italy


Jan Brueghel depicted telescopes in four paintings spanning the period between 1609 and 1621. We have investigated the nature and the origin of these telescopes. An optical "tube" that appears in the painting dated 1608-1612, and probably reproduced also in a painting of the 1621, represents one the earliest documentation of a Dutch spyglass which could even tentatively attributed to Sacharias Janssen or Lipperhey, thus prior to those made by Galileo. Other two instruments made of several draw-tubes which appear in the two paintings of 1617 and 1618 are quite sophisticated for the period and we argue that may represent early examples of Keplerian telescopes.

Wednesday September 24, 2008
Dr. Joshua Emery
University of Tennessee, USA


The Infrared Spectrograph (IRS) on Spitzer has observed more than 120 asteroids, several Centaurs and Kuiper Belt objects (KBOs), and satellites of the giant planets. The asteroid sample includes objects from near-Earth space, through the Main Belt, and into the Jupiter Trojan swarms. Asteroids from all taxonomic classes have been observed, as have several binary and multiple component systems. The diameters of these targets range from a few hundred meters to a few hundred kilometers. On the whole, IRS has provided a broad sample of emissivity spectra of small Solar System bodies. The largest emissivity features detected are at the 10% level and are confined to the more primitive asteroid classes. Significant spectral variation is apparent among the IRS asteroid sample. Some of the dust observed in the close environment of other stars likely comes from asteroid collisions, so asteroids in the Solar System are proper mineralogical analogs. As capabilities continue to improve, direct observations of small body populations in other systems and inter-comparisons between systems will foster significant insights into the formation and evolution of planetary systems. The Solar System occupies a unique role by its accessibility and the detail to which it can be studied. While the IRS data are a good start, there is much to be learned from a larger set of mid-infrared spectra (e.g., from JWST and SOFIA). In this talk, I will present an overview of the IRS observations of small Solar System bodies, with a few representative objects highlighted for detailed discussion.

Tuesday September 23, 2008
Dr. Peter Hammersley
Grantecan, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, Spain


This talk presents the current status of the commissioning of the GTC. It covers the progress made since first light, the current performance and then looks ahead to what is expected between now and the start of science operations in March.

Thursday September 18, 2008
Dr. Francisco Prada
Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía, Spain


SIDE (Super Ifu Deployable Experiment) is being proposed as a new instrument for the GTC 10.4m telescope on La Palma. It will be a wide-field fiber-fed spectrograph of intermediate resolution, highly efficient in multi-object and 3D spectroscopy. SIDE will feature the unique possibility of performing simultaneous visible and NIR observations for selected spectral ranges. SIDE will produce unique data sets and open new opportunities to understand our view on galaxy formation and evolution and it will provide new insights on the physics of the dark universe. In this talk I will give a brief instrument overview and review the status of SIDE and its pathfinder, the mini SIDE. The SIDE project is lead by the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucia in Granada (Spain).

Thursday July 3, 2008
Dr. Alan Tokunaga
University of Hawaii, USA


Tuesday July 1, 2008
Dr. Cristina Dalle Ore
SETI/NASA Ames Research Center, USA


The composition of the outer solar system is of particular interest because it holds the key to understanding the chemical evolution of the Solar System. Observations at the edge of the Solar System are difficult because of distance and size limitations. The Spitzer Space Telescope has provided a wealth of data for Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs), the small inhabitants of this remote part of the Solar System past the orbit of Neptune, as well as for Centaurs, similar objects to the KBOs but with orbits that come closer to the Sun. Are these observations sufficient to tell us what the composition of these objects is? We briefly introduce spectral modeling, its strengths and limitations. Making use of synthetic surface reflectance spectra we assess the feasibility of determining the composition of Kuiper Belt Objects and Centaurs making use of Spitzer-IRAC data alone.

Thursday June 12, 2008
Prof. Phil James
Liverpool John Moores University, UK


I will present results from a survey of the star formation properties of nearby galaxies, using H alpha narrow-band imaging. The first half of the talk will cover the `expected' results of such a survey: how total star formation rates depend on galaxy morphology, the contribution of different types to the global star formation activity per unit volume of the nearby Universe, constraints on star formation histories, and indications of how stellar mass has been assembled in disks from the spatial distributions of young and old stars. The second half will look at some less expected spin-offs, including some surprising facts about the Magellanic Clouds, and new findings on progenitors of core-collapse supernovae.

Monday June 2, 2008
Dr. Sepehr Arbabi Bidgoli
Iranian National Observatory Project, Iran


The plan of the Iranian National Observatory (INO) is to build within the next 5 years an active 3 meter telescope with a possible adaptive secondary on a mountain with more than 3000m height. We plan to have a remote-access and encourage the international community of astronomers to cooperate and to use up to 70% of the observing time. For the optical design and the first instruments we focus on few topics of astronomy. In the first part of my talk I will give a status report of this project and review the current proposals for the science case. In the second part of my talk I will introduce my own research interest and talk about the voids in the large scale structure of the universe. We have done studies on the systematics of void search algorithms in 2D galaxy samples, a 3D void analysis of the SDSS data release 6, and some approaches for theoretical modeling of the void properties and statistics. The Iranian National Observatory project and its science case

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