Found 95 talks archived in Telescopes and instrumentation

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Thursday June 3, 2010
Prof. Colin Cunningham
UK Astronomy Technology Centre, ROE, UK

Abstract

Teams from industry, universities and institutes across Europe are contributing to the design and development phase of the European Southern Observatory's project to build the world's biggest optical/infrared telescope. I will outline some of exciting scientific prospects for a fully-adaptive 42m telescope, from studying exoplanets to the furthest galaxies, and then show how some of the technical challenges are being addressed. I will place special emphasis on the work UK teams are doing on instrumentation, detectors and adaptive optics.

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Wednesday June 2, 2010
Dr. Orlagh Creevey
Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, Spain

Abstract

The SONG SONG (Stellar Observations Network Group) project is a worldwide initiative to design and build a global network of 1m telescopes (6 to 8 nodes) to allow observations with a high duty cycle (> 80%) and near continuous coverage over long time spans (weeks to months). The SONG prototype (first node of the network) is currently under construction and it is expected to be placed at the Observatorio del Teide in mid 2011 on the basis of a bilateral collaborative agreement. The main scientific goals for SONG are to study stars using asteroseismology, and to search for, and characterize, extra-solar planets using microlensing and radial-velocity observations. In order to achieve this, the prototype node will be equipped with a high-resolution spectrograph and a dual-colour lucky-imaging camera. Here we describe the main aspects of the project and the various scientific opportunities that will be offered to the Spanish community.

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Monday May 17, 2010
Dr. Vladimir Lipunov
Moscow State University and Sternberg Astronomical Institute, Russia

Abstract

The main goal of the MASTER-Net project is to produce a unique fast sky survey with all sky observed over a single night down to a limiting magnitude of 21. Such a survey will make it possible to address a number of fundamental problems: search for dark energy via the discovery and photometry of supernovae (including SNIa), search for exoplanets, microlensing effects, discovery of minor bodies in the Solar System, and space-junk monitoring. All MASTER telescopes can be guided by alerts, and we plan to observe prompt optical emission from gamma-ray bursts synchronously in several filters and in several polarization planes.

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Friday April 16, 2010
Dr. Alessandro Ederoclite
Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, Spain

Abstract

I present the online and the offline data reduction system for OSIRIS, the optical multi-mode instrument for GranTeCan. The software is written in Python and invokes PyRAF tasks which have been optimized for the instrument. I review the characteristics of the instrument and of the software. I will also present the improvements which are foreseen for the software.

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Thursday April 8, 2010
Dr. Martin Aubé
Université de Sherbrooke, Canada

Abstract

Measuring the Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) is of particular importance in monitoring aerosol contributions to global radiative forcing and air quality. Most measuring methods are based on direct or indirect observation of sunlight and thus are only available for use during daylight hours. Attempts have been made to measure AOD behavior at night from star photometry, and more recently moon photometry. Star photometry method uses spectrally calibrated stars as reference targets this provides somewhat more flexibility than a sun photometer but there are low-signal and calibration issues which can make these measurements problematic. Moon photometry is only possible when the moon is present in the sky. We suggest a complementary method, based on the observation of artificial sky glow generated by light pollution. The methodology requires (1) the implementation of an heterogeneous 3D light pollution model and (2) the design of an automated light pollution spectrometer which will be presented here. The instrument designated as the Spectrometer for Aerosol Night Detection (SAND) is now in its third version. Basically, SAND-3 is an automated CCD based, long-slit spectrometer protected from inclement weather by an acrylic dome. SAND have been used successfully in many astronomical sites along with some urban sites. Our first day/night (continuity) AOD measurements comparisons with AERONET/AEROCAN sunphotometer data will be shown for Sherbrooke university (Quebec, Canada) atmospheric optical observatory.

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Tuesday April 6, 2010
Dr. Antonio Eff-Darwich
Universidad de La Laguna, Spain

Abstract

An analysis of the impact of seismic and volcanic activity was carried out at selected astronomical sites, namely the observatories of El Teide (Tenerife, Canary Islands), Roque de los Muchachos (La Palma, Canary Islands), Mauna Kea (Hawaii) and Paranal (Chile) and the candidate site of Cerro Ventarrones/Armazones (Chile). In this sense, we studied the impact of seismicity, volcanic ash clouds, lava flows and ground deformation. Hazard associated with volcanic activity is low or negligible at all sites, whereas seismic hazard is very high in Chile and Hawaii. The lowest geological hazard in both seismic and volcanic activity was found at Roque de los Muchachos observatory, in the island of La Palma.


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Monday March 22, 2010
Prof. Richard McMahon
Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, UK

Abstract

Survey operations with the VISTA telescope with it wide field near IR camera started in Feb 2010, following a science verification phase that started in Oct, 2009. I will describe this new 4.2m wide field telescope and the ESO VISTA Public survey program. I will give details of all ESO six public surveys which will be used for a range of galactic and extragalactic science. I am the PI of the largest, by area, VISTA survey, I will focus my talk on the VISTA Hemisphere Survey and I will show how this survey will be used to find quasars in the Epoch of Reionization at redshift greater than 7. The VISTA Hemisphere Survey (VHS) has been been awarded 300 clear nights on the 4.2m ESO VISTA telescopes. VHS observations started i February, 2010 and the survey will take 5 years to complete. The VHS will cover the whole southern celestial hemisphere (dec<0) to a depth 4 magnitudes fainter than 2MASS/DENIS in at least two wavebands J and K. In the South Galactic Cap, 5000 square degrees will be imaged deeper, including H band, and will have supplemental deep multi-band grizY imaging data provided by the Dark Energy Survey (DES). The remainder of the high galactic latitude sky will be imaged in YJHK and combined with ugriz wavebands from the VST ATLAS, SDSS BOSS and Skymapper optical surveys. The medium term scientific goals include: a huge expansion in our knowledge of the lowest-mass and nearest stars; deciphering the merger history and genesis of our own Galaxy; measurement of large-scale structure out to z=1 and measuring the properties of Dark Energy; discovery of the first quasars with z > 7. In my talk, I will describe the scientific motivation and methodology of the search for quasars with z > 7.

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Monday March 15, 2010
Prof. Kip S. Thorne
University of Caltech, USA

Abstract

Over the next decade or so, the gravitational-wave window onto the Universe will be opened in four frequency bands that span 22 orders of magnitude: The high-frequency band, 10 to 10,000 Hz (ground-based interferometers such as LIGO and VIRGO), the low-frequency band, 10-5 to 0.1 Hz (the space-based interferometer LISA), the very-low frequency band, 10-9 to 10-7 Hz (pulsar timing arrays), and the extremely-low-frequency band, 10-18 to 10-16 Hz (polarization of the cosmic microwave background). This lecture will describe these four bands, the detectors that are being developed to explore them, and what we are likely to learn about black holes, neutron stars, white dwarfs and early-universe exotica from these detectors' observations.


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Wednesday February 3, 2010
Dr. Ignacio Romero Trujillo, Dr. Begoña García Lorenzo
University of Cranfield, UK
Instituto de Astrofísíca de Canarias, Spain

Abstract

There are many parameters accounting for the quality of an astronomical site, namely seeing, cloud cover, ground winds, high-altitude winds, etc. The water vapor content is the main parameter affecting the IR quality of astronomical sites. The fraction of nights with good IR conditions (small column of water vapor) as a function of the epoch of the year will allow an optimal scheduling of telescope observing time. Global Positioning System (GPS) is an increasingly operational tool for measuring the precipitable water vapor (PWV). In this seminar, we briefly describe the procedure to estimate the PWV through GPS and we present the statistical results derived from a 7.5-year long time series of PWV estimations derived from GPS at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory.


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Thursday January 28, 2010
Dr. Nicolas Lodieu
Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, Spain

Abstract

In this Breaking News seminar, I will describe our project dedicated to the search for ultracool low-metallicity dwarfs (or subdwarfs) in the large-scale databases. The highlight of the seminar is the discovery of a mid-L subdwarf, the fifth known to date, and the first one identified in the UKIRT Infrared Deep Sky Survey (UKIDSS). The spectroscopic nature of this subdwarf was confirmed with data obtained with GTC/OSIRIS in April 2009.