Science.gov

Sample records for astronomical spectrograph calibration

  1. A 12.5 GHz-spaced optical frequency comb spanning >400 nm for near-infrared astronomical spectrograph calibration

    SciTech Connect

    Quinlan, F.; Diddams, S. A.; Ycas, G.; Osterman, S.

    2010-06-15

    A 12.5 GHz-spaced optical frequency comb locked to a global positioning system disciplined oscillator for near-infrared (IR) spectrograph calibration is presented. The comb is generated via filtering a 250 MHz-spaced comb. Subsequent nonlinear broadening of the 12.5 GHz comb extends the wavelength range to cover 1380-1820 nm, providing complete coverage over the H-band transmission window of earth's atmosphere. Finite suppression of spurious sidemodes, optical linewidth, and instability of the comb has been examined to estimate potential wavelength biases in spectrograph calibration. Sidemode suppression varies between 20 and 45 dB, and the optical linewidth is {approx}350 kHz at 1550 nm. The comb frequency uncertainty is bounded by {+-}30 kHz (corresponding to a radial velocity of {+-}5 cm/s), limited by the global positioning system disciplined oscillator reference. These results indicate that this comb can readily support radial velocity measurements below 1 m/s in the near IR.

  2. Control of flexure in large astronomical spectrographs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Arrigo, Paolo

    This thesis describes the design, construction and testing of an experimental system for improving the imaging stability on the detectors of the Intermediate-dispersion Spectroscopic and Imaging System (ISIS), a Cassegrain spectrograph at the 4.2 metre William Hershel Telescope. This system, called ISAAC (ISIS Spectrograph Automatic Active Collimator) is based on the new concept of active compensation, where spectrum shifts, due to the spectrograph flexing under the effect of gravity, are compensated by the movement of an active optical element. ISAAC is a fine steering tip-tilt collimator mirror. The thesis provides an extensive introduction on astronomical spectrographs, active optics and actuator systems. The new concept of active compensation of flexure is also described. The problem of spectrograph flexure is analyzed, focusing in particular on the case of ISIS and on how an active compensation system can help to solve it. The development of ISAAC is explained, from the component specification and design, to the construction and laboratory testing. The performance and successful testing of the instrument at the William Herschel Telescope is then described in detail. The implications for the future of ISIS and of new spectrograph designs are then discussed, with particular stress on the new High Resolution Optical Spectrograph (HROS) for the 8-metre Gemini telescopes.

  3. WAVELENGTH CALIBRATION OF THE HAMILTON ECHELLE SPECTROGRAPH

    SciTech Connect

    Pakhomov, Yu. V.; Zhao, G.

    2013-10-01

    We present the wavelength calibration of the Hamilton Echelle Spectrograph at Lick Observatory. The main problem with the calibration of this spectrograph arises from the fact that thorium lines are absent in the spectrum of the presumed ThAr hollow-cathode lamp now under operation; numerous unknown strong lines, which have been identified as titanium lines, are present in the spectrum. We estimate the temperature of the lamp's gas which permits us to calculate the intensities of the lines and to select a large number of relevant Ti I and Ti II lines. The resulting titanium line list for the Lick hollow-cathode lamp is presented. The wavelength calibration using this line list was made with an accuracy of about 0.006 Å.

  4. Modelling high resolution Echelle spectrographs for calibrations: Hanle Echelle spectrograph, a case study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chanumolu, Anantha; Jones, Damien; Thirupathi, Sivarani

    2015-06-01

    We present a modelling scheme that predicts the centroids of spectral line features for a high resolution Echelle spectrograph to a high accuracy. Towards this, a computing scheme is used, whereby any astronomical spectrograph can be modelled and controlled without recourse to a ray tracing program. The computations are based on paraxial ray trace and exact corrections added for certain surface types and Buchdahl aberration coefficients for complex modules. The resultant chain of paraxial ray traces and corrections for all relevant components is used to calculate the location of any spectral line on the detector under all normal operating conditions with a high degree of certainty. This will allow a semi-autonomous control using simple in-house, programming modules. The scheme is simple enough to be implemented even in a spreadsheet or in any scripting language. Such a model along with an optimization routine can represent the real time behaviour of the instrument. We present here a case study for Hanle Echelle Spectrograph. We show that our results match well with a popular commercial ray tracing software. The model is further optimized using Thorium Argon calibration lamp exposures taken during the preliminary alignment of the instrument. The model predictions matched the calibration frames at a level of 0.08 pixel. Monte Carlo simulations were performed to show the photon noise effect on the model predictions.

  5. Fiber optics for astronomical spectroscopy - The Medusa Spectrograph

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hill, J. M.; Angel, J. R. P.; Scott, J. S.

    1983-01-01

    An instrument has been built to obtain simultaneous spectra of 32 objects in the field of view of the Steward Observatory 2.3 m telescope. Short lengths of optical fiber are used to bring light from galaxy images at the focus of the telescope into a line at the spectrograph slit. This multi-fiber aperture plate instrument has been dubbed the Medusa Spectrograph. The Medusa is now producing spectra of about 100 galaxies per clear night. An optimized version of the instrument called the MX Spectrometer is being constructed to record spectra at a higher rate. This new instrument will have remotely positioned fibers under computer control. A Charge Coupled Device will be used as the spectrograph detector to allow sky subtraction, give increased dynamic range and provide more accurate wavelength calibration. Transmission characteristics of some commercial fibers are discussed, and the microlens optics used to match the telescope and the spectrograph to the fibers to avoid focal ratio degradation are described.

  6. A spectrograph for exoplanet observations calibrated at the centimetre-per-second level.

    PubMed

    Wilken, Tobias; Curto, Gaspare Lo; Probst, Rafael A; Steinmetz, Tilo; Manescau, Antonio; Pasquini, Luca; González Hernández, Jonay I; Rebolo, Rafael; Hänsch, Theodor W; Udem, Thomas; Holzwarth, Ronald

    2012-05-31

    The best spectrographs are limited in stability by their calibration light source. Laser frequency combs are the ideal calibrators for astronomical spectrographs. They emit a spectrum of lines that are equally spaced in frequency and that are as accurate and stable as the atomic clock relative to which the comb is stabilized. Absolute calibration provides the radial velocity of an astronomical object relative to the observer (on Earth). For the detection of Earth-mass exoplanets in Earth-like orbits around solar-type stars, or of cosmic acceleration, the observable is a tiny velocity change of less than 10 cm s(-1), where the repeatability of the calibration--the variation in stability across observations--is important. Hitherto, only laboratory systems or spectrograph calibrations of limited performance have been demonstrated. Here we report the calibration of an astronomical spectrograph with a short-term Doppler shift repeatability of 2.5 cm s(-1), and use it to monitor the star HD 75289 and recompute the orbit of its planet. This repeatability should make it possible to detect Earth-like planets in the habitable zone of star or even to measure the cosmic acceleration directly.

  7. A spectrograph for exoplanet observations calibrated at the centimetre-per-second level.

    PubMed

    Wilken, Tobias; Curto, Gaspare Lo; Probst, Rafael A; Steinmetz, Tilo; Manescau, Antonio; Pasquini, Luca; González Hernández, Jonay I; Rebolo, Rafael; Hänsch, Theodor W; Udem, Thomas; Holzwarth, Ronald

    2012-05-31

    The best spectrographs are limited in stability by their calibration light source. Laser frequency combs are the ideal calibrators for astronomical spectrographs. They emit a spectrum of lines that are equally spaced in frequency and that are as accurate and stable as the atomic clock relative to which the comb is stabilized. Absolute calibration provides the radial velocity of an astronomical object relative to the observer (on Earth). For the detection of Earth-mass exoplanets in Earth-like orbits around solar-type stars, or of cosmic acceleration, the observable is a tiny velocity change of less than 10 cm s(-1), where the repeatability of the calibration--the variation in stability across observations--is important. Hitherto, only laboratory systems or spectrograph calibrations of limited performance have been demonstrated. Here we report the calibration of an astronomical spectrograph with a short-term Doppler shift repeatability of 2.5 cm s(-1), and use it to monitor the star HD 75289 and recompute the orbit of its planet. This repeatability should make it possible to detect Earth-like planets in the habitable zone of star or even to measure the cosmic acceleration directly. PMID:22660320

  8. Performance of a laser frequency comb calibration system with a high-resolution solar echelle spectrograph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doerr, H.-P.; Kentischer, T. J.; Steinmetz, T.; Probst, R. A.; Franz, M.; Holzwarth, R.; Udem, Th.; Hänsch, T. W.; Schmidt, W.

    2012-09-01

    Laser frequency combs (LFC) provide a direct link between the radio frequency (RF) and the optical frequency regime. The comb-like spectrum of an LFC is formed by exact equidistant laser modes, whose absolute optical frequencies are controlled by RF-references such as atomic clocks or GPS receivers. While nowadays LFCs are routinely used in metrological and spectroscopic fields, their application in astronomy was delayed until recently when systems became available with a mode spacing and wavelength coverage suitable for calibration of astronomical spectrographs. We developed a LFC based calibration system for the high-resolution echelle spectrograph at the German Vacuum Tower Telescope (VTT), located at the Teide observatory, Tenerife, Canary Islands. To characterize the calibration performance of the instrument, we use an all-fiber setup where sunlight and calibration light are fed to the spectrograph by the same single-mode fiber, eliminating systematic effects related to variable grating illumination.

  9. Internal calibration of astronomical photographs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bunclark, P. S.

    Photographic plates have enormous advantages over other two-dimensional detectors in that they have largely uniform sensitivity over a large area. Unfortunately they are dogged by lack of dynamic range and complex response functions. This paper describes a successful method of internal calibration (ie. using only information contained in the images on the plate) which for stars gives a dynamic range of fourteen magnitudes and allows correct photometry of those extended objects which are not saturated.

  10. Line profile analysis of an astronomical spectrograph with a laser frequency comb

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Fei; Zhao, Gang; Lo Curto, Gaspare; Wang, Hui-Juan; Liu, Yu-Juan; Wang, Liang; Wang, Wei

    2014-08-01

    We present a study of the spectral line shape associated with a High Resolution Spectrograph on the 2.16 m telescope at the Xinglong Observing Station of National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences. This measurement is based on modeling the instrumental line shape obtained by unresolved modes from a Yb-fiber mode-locked laser frequency comb. With the current repetition rate of 250 MHz and 26 GHz mode spacing on the spectrograph, we find the absolute variation of the line center, 0.0597 pixel in the direction of the CCDs, and 0.00275 pixel (~3 m s-1) for relative variation in successive exposures on a short timescale. A novel double-Gaussian model is presented to improve the quality of the fit by a factor of 2.47 in a typical single exposure. We also use analysis with raw moments and central moments to characterize the change in line shape across the detector. A trend in charge transfer efficiency can be found on the E2V 4096 × 4096 CCD that provides a correction for wavelength calibration aiming to reach a level of precision for radial velocity below 1 ms-1.

  11. Precision spectroscopy with a frequency-comb-calibrated solar spectrograph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doerr, H.-P.

    2015-06-01

    The measurement of the velocity field of the plasma at the solar surface is a standard diagnostic tool in observational solar physics. Detailed information about the energy transport as well as on the stratification of temperature, pressure and magnetic fields in the solar atmosphere are encoded in Doppler shifts and in the precise shape of the spectral lines. The available instruments deliver data of excellent quality and precision. However, absolute wavelength calibration in solar spectroscopy was so far mostly limited to indirect methods and in general suffers from large systematic uncertainties of the order of 100 m/s. During the course of this thesis, a novel wavelength calibration system based on a laser frequency comb was deployed to the solar Vacuum Tower Telescope (VTT), Tenerife, with the goal of enabling highly accurate solar wavelength measurements at the level of 1 m/s on an absolute scale. The frequency comb was developed in a collaboration between the Kiepenheuer-Institute for Solar Physics, Freiburg, Germany and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics, Garching, Germany. The efforts cumulated in the new prototype instrument LARS (Lars is an Absolute Reference Spectrograph) for solar precision spectroscopy which is in preliminary scientific operation since~2013. The instrument is based on the high-resolution echelle spectrograph of the VTT for which feed optics based on single-mode optical fibres were developed for this project. The setup routinely achieves an absolute calibration accuracy of 60 cm/s and a repeatability of 2.5 cm/s. An unprecedented repeatability of only 0.32 cm/s could be demonstrated with a differential calibration scheme. In combination with the high spectral resolving power of the spectrograph of 7x10^5 and virtually absent internal scattered light, LARS provides a spectral purity and fidelity that previously was the domain of Fourier-transform spectrometers only. The instrument therefore provides unique capabilities for

  12. WAVELENGTH CALIBRATION OF THE VLT-UVES SPECTROGRAPH

    SciTech Connect

    Whitmore, Jonathan B.; Griest, Kim; Murphy, Michael T. E-mail: mmurphy@swin.edu.a

    2010-11-01

    We attempt to measure possible miscalibration of the wavelength scale of the VLT-UVES spectrograph. We take spectra of QSO HE0515-4414 through the UVES iodine cell which contains thousands of well-calibrated iodine lines and compare these lines to the wavelength scale from the standard thorium-argon pipeline calibration. Analyzing three exposures of this z = 1.71 QSO, we find two distinct types of calibration shifts needed to correct the Th/Ar wavelength scale. First, there is an overall average velocity shift of between 100 m s{sup -1} and 500 m s{sup -1} depending upon the exposure. Second, within a given exposure, we find intra-order velocity distortions of 100 m s{sup -1} up to more than 200 m s{sup -1}. These calibration errors are similar to, but smaller than, those found earlier in the Keck HIRES spectrometer. We discuss the possible origins of these two types of miscalibration. We also explore the implications of these calibration errors on the systematic error in measurements of {Delta}{alpha}/{alpha}, the change in the fine-structure constant derived from measurement of the relative redshifts of absorption lines in QSO absorption systems. The overall average, exposure-dependent shifts should be less relevant for fine-structure work, but the intra-order shifts have the potential to affect these results. Using either our measured calibration offsets or a Gaussian model with sigma of around 90 m s{sup -1}, Monte Carlo mock experiments find errors in {Delta}{alpha}/{alpha} of between 1 x 10{sup -6} N {sup -1/2}{sub sys} and 3 x 10{sup -6} N {sup -1/2}{sub sys}, where N{sub sys} is the number of systems used and the range is due to dependence on how many metallic absorption lines in each system are compared.

  13. Absolute calibration of space-resolving soft X-ray spectrograph for plasma diagnostics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoshikawa, M.; Okamoto, Y.; Kawamori, E.; Watanabe, Y.; Watabe, C.; Yamaguchi, N.; Tamano, T.

    2001-07-01

    A grazing incidence flat-field soft X-ray (20-350 Å) spectrograph was constructed and applied for impurity diagnostics in the GAMMA 10 fusion plasma. The spectrograph consisted of a limited height entrance slit, an aberration-corrected concave grating, a microchannel-plate intensified detector and an instant camera/a high speed solid state camera. An absolute calibration experiment for the SX spectrograph was performed at the Photon Factory in the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization with monitoring the incident synchrotron beam intensity by using an absolutely calibrated XUV silicon photodiode. From the results of absolute calibration of the spectrograph, the radiation loss from the plasma was obtained.

  14. The assembly, calibration, and preliminary results from the Colorado high-resolution Echelle stellar spectrograph (CHESS)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoadley, Keri; France, Kevin; Nell, Nicholas; Kane, Robert; Schultz, Ted; Beasley, Matthew; Green, James; Kulow, Jen; Kersgaard, Eliot; Fleming, Brian

    2014-07-01

    The Colorado High-resolution Echelle Stellar Spectrograph (CHESS) is a far ultraviolet (FUV) rocket-borne experiment designed to study the atomic-to-molecular transitions within translucent interstellar clouds. CHESS is an objective echelle spectrograph operating at f/12.4 and resolving power of 120,000 over a band pass of 100 - 160 nm. The echelle flight grating is the product of a research and development project with LightSmyth Inc. and was coated at Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) with Al+LiF. It has an empirically-determined groove density of 71.67 grooves/mm. At the Center for Astrophysics and Space Astronomy (CASA) at the University of Colorado (CU), we measured the efficiencies of the peak and adjacent dispersion orders throughout the 90 - 165 nm band pass to characterize the behavior of the grating for pre-flight calibrations and to assess the scattered-light behavior. The crossdispersing grating, developed and ruled by Horiba Jobin-Yvon, is a holographically-ruled, low line density (351 grooves/mm), powered optic with a toroidal surface curvature. The CHESS cross-disperser was also coated at GSFC; Cr+Al+LiF was deposited to enhance far-UV efficiency. Results from final efficiency and reflectivity measurements of both optics are presented. We utilize a cross-strip anode microchannel plate (MCP) detector built by Sensor Sciences to achieve high resolution (25 μm spatial resolution) and data collection rates (~ 106 photons/second) over a large format (40mm round, digitized to 8k x 8k) for the first time in an astronomical sounding rocket flight. The CHESS instrument was successfully launched from White Sands Missile Range on 24 May 2014. We present pre-flight sensitivity, effective area calculations, lab spectra and calibration results, and touch on first results and post-flight calibration plans.

  15. Field application of moment-based wavefront sensing to in-situ alignment and image quality assessment of astronomical spectrographs: results and analysis of aligning VIRUS unit spectrographs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Hanshin; Hill, Gary J.; Tuttle, Sarah E.; Noyola, Eva; Peterson, Trent; Vattiat, Brian L.

    2014-07-01

    Teague introduced a phase retrieval method that uses the image shape moments. More recently, an independent study arrived at a similar technique, which was then applied to in-situ full-field image-quality evaluation of spectroscopic systems. This moment-based wavefront sensing (MWFS) method relies on the geometric relation between the image shape moments and the geometric wavefront modal coefficients. The MWFS method allows a non-iterative determination of the modal coefficients from focus-modulated images at arbitrary spatial resolutions. The determination of image moments is a direct extension of routine centroid and image size calculation, making its implementation easy. Previous studies showed that the MWFS works well in capturing large low-order modes, and is quite suitable for in-situ alignment diagnostics. At the Astronomical Instrumentation conference in 2012, we presented initial results of the application of the moment-based wavefront sensing to a fiber-fed astronomical spectrograph, called VIRUS (a set of replicated 150 identical integral-field unit spectrographs contained in 75 unit pairs). This initial result shows that the MWFS can provide accurate full-field image-quality assessment for efficiently aligning these 150 spectrographs. Since then, we have assembled more than 24 unit pairs using this technique. In this paper, we detail the technical update/progress made so far for the moment-based wavefront sensing method and the statistical estimates of the before/after alignment aberrations, image-quality, and various efficiency indicators of the unit spectrograph alignment process.

  16. ASTROMETRY.NET: BLIND ASTROMETRIC CALIBRATION OF ARBITRARY ASTRONOMICAL IMAGES

    SciTech Connect

    Lang, Dustin; Mierle, Keir; Roweis, Sam; Hogg, David W.; Blanton, Michael

    2010-05-15

    We have built a reliable and robust system that takes as input an astronomical image, and returns as output the pointing, scale, and orientation of that image (the astrometric calibration or World Coordinate System information). The system requires no first guess, and works with the information in the image pixels alone; that is, the problem is a generalization of the 'lost in space' problem in which nothing-not even the image scale-is known. After robust source detection is performed in the input image, asterisms (sets of four or five stars) are geometrically hashed and compared to pre-indexed hashes to generate hypotheses about the astrometric calibration. A hypothesis is only accepted as true if it passes a Bayesian decision theory test against a null hypothesis. With indices built from the USNO-B catalog and designed for uniformity of coverage and redundancy, the success rate is >99.9% for contemporary near-ultraviolet and visual imaging survey data, with no false positives. The failure rate is consistent with the incompleteness of the USNO-B catalog; augmentation with indices built from the Two Micron All Sky Survey catalog brings the completeness to 100% with no false positives. We are using this system to generate consistent and standards-compliant meta-data for digital and digitized imaging from plate repositories, automated observatories, individual scientific investigators, and hobbyists. This is the first step in a program of making it possible to trust calibration meta-data for astronomical data of arbitrary provenance.

  17. Astrometry.net: Blind Astrometric Calibration of Arbitrary Astronomical Images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lang, Dustin; Hogg, David W.; Mierle, Keir; Blanton, Michael; Roweis, Sam

    2010-05-01

    We have built a reliable and robust system that takes as input an astronomical image, and returns as output the pointing, scale, and orientation of that image (the astrometric calibration or World Coordinate System information). The system requires no first guess, and works with the information in the image pixels alone; that is, the problem is a generalization of the "lost in space" problem in which nothing—not even the image scale—is known. After robust source detection is performed in the input image, asterisms (sets of four or five stars) are geometrically hashed and compared to pre-indexed hashes to generate hypotheses about the astrometric calibration. A hypothesis is only accepted as true if it passes a Bayesian decision theory test against a null hypothesis. With indices built from the USNO-B catalog and designed for uniformity of coverage and redundancy, the success rate is >99.9% for contemporary near-ultraviolet and visual imaging survey data, with no false positives. The failure rate is consistent with the incompleteness of the USNO-B catalog; augmentation with indices built from the Two Micron All Sky Survey catalog brings the completeness to 100% with no false positives. We are using this system to generate consistent and standards-compliant meta-data for digital and digitized imaging from plate repositories, automated observatories, individual scientific investigators, and hobbyists. This is the first step in a program of making it possible to trust calibration meta-data for astronomical data of arbitrary provenance.

  18. Fine optical alignment correction of astronomical spectrographs via in-situ full-field moment-based wavefront sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Hanshin; Hill, Gary J.; Tuttle, Sarah E.; Vattiat, Brian L.

    2012-09-01

    The image moment-based wavefront sensing (IWFS) utilizes moments of focus-modulated focal plane images to determine modal wavefront aberrations. This permits fast, easy, and accurate measurement of wavefront error (WFE) on any available finite-sized isolated targets across the entire focal plane (FP) of an imaging system, thereby allowing not only in-situ full-field image quality assessment, but also deterministic fine alignment correction of the imaging system. We present an experimental demonstration where fine alignment correction of a fast camera system in a fiber-fed astronomical spectrograph, called VIRUS, is accomplished by using IWFS.

  19. IntelliCal: A Novel Method For Calibration Of Imaging Spectrographs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McClure, Jason; Gooding, Ed

    2010-08-01

    The wavelength accuracy of traditional spectrograph calibration software routines relies heavily on user input and familiarity with spectroscopic techniques. A simple misunderstanding in programmatic procedures or misfit of emission lines can easily result in an inaccurate calibration. After such calibration routines terminate, there is typically no way of determining wavelength accuracy without subsequent peak fitting of emission line spectra for comparison. Furthermore, adjusting calibration parameters to optimize observed spectral dispersion across the focal plane of an imaging spectrograph is not a trivial task and one usually left for the user to determine. It is historically the case that Raman spectra collected with dispersive spectrometers are generally not corrected for the instrumental response function. Spectra obtained from different instruments may therefore show variations in relative peak intensities as a result of the wavelength dependant optical properties of the instrument and quantum efficiency of the detector. The determination and implementation of the spectrometer's optical response function is, additionally, left as an exercise for the user. We present the results of a novel spectrograph calibration routine that utilizes non-linear optimization techniques to refine a theoretical spectrograph model. Calculated emission line spectra are refined against observed data at the CCD detector pixel level providing a true wavelength to pixel correlation that does not involve any approximation techniques. Moreover, this calibration routine proceeds autonomously, requiring no sophistication on the part of the end user and eliminating potential sources of user error. Instrumental response functions are determined through the autonomous implementation of the methods outlined by Choquette at. al. Secondary emission standards that are luminescent under laser excitation are used as broad band continuous sources whose relative irradiance functions are known

  20. Calibrating the Astronomical Extinction Spectrophotometer for NIST Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McGraw, John T.; Zimmer, P. C.; Karle, J.; Zirzow, D. C.; Cramer, C.; Lykke, K.; Woodward, J. T.

    2013-01-01

    The NIST Stars program is currently creating a new generation of absolutely calibrated spectroradiometric standard stars traceable to NIST laboratory standards. A fundamental task required to accomplish this is the transfer of the laboratory irradiance standard to telescopes in the field. We describe the system for calibration transfer for the Astronomical Extinction Spectrophotometer (AESOP), a 100mm diameter objective grating spectrometer designed to precisely and accurately measure the spectral energy distribution of bright (V<6) stars. The transfer standard for AESoP is a nearly identical 100mm diameter optical system with no dispersive element, CAL, which is co-mounted with AESoP but can be easily removed and taken to NIST for calibration in their Telescope Calibration Facility (TCF). CAL is designed to measure one wavelength at a time using a novel technique where CAL’s input pupil is imaged onto a CCD read out in TDI mode. The row read rate and on-chip binning can be modulated to match a very large dynamic range, from 100aW at a signal-to-noise ratio of 10 per second to 1nW at a signal-to-noise of >20000 per second. Moreover, CAL never observes the sky, only calibration sources and otherwise has its aperture covered to prevent dust accumulation. In the TCF, CAL measures a wavelength-tunable source that is simultaneous monitored using a NIST working standard photodiode. The responsivity of the photodiode and its distance from the source is accurately known. The distance from CAL to the source, of the order 50m, is also accurately known, as is CAL’s collecting area, allowing highly accurate transfer of the diode calibration to CAL. In AESoP’s mobile calibration lab, CAL and AESoP are mounted side-by-side with apertures aligned and both observe a collimated, tunable source that simultaneously illuminates both systems. AESoP and CAL are currently under field testing. We present calibration data and some initial stellar spectral energy distribution

  1. A Laser Frequency Comb System for Absolute Calibration of the VTT Echelle Spectrograph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doerr, H.-P.; Steinmetz, T.; Holzwarth, R.; Kentischer, T.; Schmidt, W.

    2012-10-01

    A wavelength calibration system based on a laser frequency comb (LFC) was developed in a co-operation between the Kiepenheuer-Institut für Sonnenphysik, Freiburg, Germany and the Max-Planck-Institut für Quantenoptik, Garching, Germany for permanent installation at the German Vacuum Tower Telescope (VTT) on Tenerife, Canary Islands. The system was installed successfully in October 2011. By simultaneously recording the spectra from the Sun and the LFC, for each exposure a calibration curve can be derived from the known frequencies of the comb modes that is suitable for absolute calibration at the meters per second level. We briefly summarize some topics in solar physics that benefit from absolute spectroscopy and point out the advantages of LFC compared to traditional calibration techniques. We also sketch the basic setup of the VTT calibration system and its integration with the existing echelle spectrograph.

  2. A passive cost-effective solution for the high accuracy wavelength calibration of radial velocity spectrographs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wildi, Françcis; Chazelas, Bruno; Pepe, Francesco

    2012-09-01

    Today, the RV technique has pushed the planet detection limits down to super-earths but the reach the precision required to detect earth-like planets it is necessary to reach a precision around 1cm s-1. While a significant part of the error budget is the incompressible photon noise, another part is the noise in the wavelength calibration of the spectrograph. In the past 3 years the Observatory of Geneva has designed, built and tested an commissioned 2 wavelength calibrator systems based on a Fabry-Perot (FP) interferometer with great success. The calibrator system demonstrated 10 cm s-1 stability over one night and 1 m s-1 over 60 days. By improving the system injecting the calibration light into the calibration fiber of the spectrograph we are aiming at 1 m s-1 repeatability over the long term. This technique is now being extended to cover the near infrared to the K band in the frame of the SPIROU project.

  3. Extreme Ultraviolet Variability Experiment (EVE) Multiple EUV Grating Spectrographs (MEGS): Radiometric Calibrations and Results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hock, R. A.; Woods, T. N.; Crotser, D.; Eparvier, F. G.; Woodraska, D. L.; Chamberlin, P. C.; Woods, E. C.

    2010-01-01

    The NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), scheduled for launch in early 2010, incorporates a suite of instruments including the Extreme Ultraviolet Variability Experiment (EVE). EVE has multiple instruments including the Multiple Extreme ultraviolet Grating Spectrographs (MEGS) A, B, and P instruments, the Solar Aspect Monitor (SAM), and the Extreme ultraviolet SpectroPhotometer (ESP). The radiometric calibration of EVE, necessary to convert the instrument counts to physical units, was performed at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Synchrotron Ultraviolet Radiation Facility (SURF III) located in Gaithersburg, Maryland. This paper presents the results and derived accuracy of this radiometric calibration for the MEGS A, B, P, and SAM instruments, while the calibration of the ESP instrument is addressed by Didkovsky et al. . In addition, solar measurements that were taken on 14 April 2008, during the NASA 36.240 sounding-rocket flight, are shown for the prototype EVE instruments.

  4. Transferring the Rb+ hyperfine-structure stability to a Fabry-Perot resonator used as a frequency standard for astronomical spectrographs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huke, Philipp; Holzhüter, Hanno; Reiners, Ansgar

    2015-06-01

    We report on the experimental realization of locking a Fabry-Perot interferometer (FPI) onto a stabilized diode laser for the calibration of astronomical spectrographs. The external cavity diode laser (ECDL) is stabilized to the 85Rb+ F* = 2 --> F = 3 transition with a pump-probe setup. The stability of the 85Rb+ reached between optical clocks is on the order of 10-13.1 and can be used to reduce the linewidth / drift of the ECDL to a few kHz.2 The measured linewidth of the transition is around 20 MHz due to unavoidable misalignment between pump- and probe-beam, power- and Doppler-broadening at room temperature.2 The aim is to transfer this stability to a FPI that can be used as optical frequency standard: Therefore the phase of the light reflected from the FPI is observed using the Pound-Drever-Hall method. The theoretically reachable stability of a few mHz/Hz3 is limited by different noise factors. In order to identify these noise factors we a) follow the calculation of noise factors given by, 4 b) calculate the contribution of misalignment and insufficient mode matching by applying the generalized matrix-formalism, 5 and c) estimate the contribution of the initial laser linewidth and the present electronic noise sources.

  5. The Calibration System for IGRINS, a High Resolution Near-IR Spectrograph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oh, Heeyoung; Pak, S.; Yuk, I.; Jaffe, D. T.; Park, C.; Lee, S.; Lee, S.; Chun, M.; Lee, H.; Strubhar, J.; Kim, K.; Pyo, T.; Seo, H.; Barnes, S. I.

    2010-05-01

    IGRINS (the Immersion GRating INfrared Spectrograph) is a high resolution infrared spectrograph which is developed by a collaboration of the University of Texas at Austin, Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute, and Kyung Hee University. IGRINS is the forerunner for GMTNIRS (the Giant Magellan Telescope Near Infrared Spectrograph) which has been selected for study as a first-light instrument for GMT. IGRINS uses a silicon immersion grating as an echelle grating and VPH gratings are used as cross dispersers. IGRINS can observe the whole H- and K- bands in a single exposure and will have a resolving power of 40,000 with 0.68" entrance slit width at a 4m telescope. IGRINS will be placed initially on the McDonald 2.7m Harlan J. Smith telescope and later on 4-8m class telescopes. The calibration system will use Th-Ar hallow cathode lamp which is well known as a line emitting source at visible and near infrared and a tungsten halogen lamp in an integrating sphere to make a blackbody source for the flat-fielding. We also use OH emission lines and telluric absorption lines for line references and we are considering to adopt a gas absorption cell for the observation requiring more precise calibration using our high dispersion instrument. We are now optimizing the optical design for the calibration system to achieve 1% flatness of the flat-fielding source illumination over slit length and over the broad bands. We will soon design mechanical mounts for optical elements and sources, and moving parts.

  6. Automated model-based calibration of short-wavelength infrared (SWIR) imaging spectrographs.

    PubMed

    Kosec, Matjaž; Bürmen, Miran; Tomaževič, Dejan; Pernuš, Franjo; Likar, Boštjan

    2012-10-01

    Among the variety of available hyperspectral imaging systems, the line-scan technique stands out for its short acquisition time and good signal-to-noise ratio. However, due to imperfections in the camera lens and, in particular, optical components of the imaging spectrograph, the acquired images are spatially and spectrally distorted, which can significantly degrade the accuracy of the subsequent hyperspectral image analysis. In this work, we propose and evaluate an automated method for correction of spatial and spectral distortions introduced by a line-scan hyperspectral imaging system operating in the short wavelength infrared (SWIR) spectral range from 1000 nm to 2500 nm. The proposed method is based on non-rigid registration of the distorted and reference images corresponding to two passive calibration objects. The results of the validation show that the proposed method is accurate, efficient, and applicable for calibration of line-scan hyperspectral imaging systems. Moreover, the design of the method and of the calibration objects allows integration with systems operating in diffuse reflectance or transmittance modes. PMID:23031695

  7. The lick-index calibration of the Gemini multi-object spectrographs

    SciTech Connect

    Puzia, Thomas H.; Miller, Bryan W.; Trancho, Gelys; Basarab, Brett; Mirocha, Jordan T.; Butler, Karen E-mail: bmiller@gemini.edu

    2013-06-01

    We present the calibration of the spectroscopic Lick/IDS standard line-index system for measurements obtained with the Gemini Multi-Object Spectrographs known as GMOS-North and GMOS-South. We provide linear correction functions for each of the 25 standard Lick line indices for the B600 grism and two instrumental setups, one with 0.''5 slit width and 1 × 1 CCD pixel binning (corresponding to ∼2.5 Å spectral resolution) and the other with 0.''75 slit width and 2 × 2 binning (∼4 Å). We find small and well-defined correction terms for the set of Balmer indices Hβ, Hγ {sub A}, and Hδ {sub A} along with the metallicity sensitive indices Fe5015, Fe5270, Fe5335, Fe5406, Mg{sub 2}, and Mgb that are widely used for stellar population diagnostics of distant stellar systems. We find other indices that sample molecular absorption bands, such as TiO{sub 1} and TiO{sub 2}, with very wide wavelength coverage or indices that sample very weak molecular and atomic absorption features, such as Mg{sub 1}, as well as indices with particularly narrow passband definitions, such as Fe4384, Ca4455, Fe4531, Ca4227, and Fe5782, which are less robustly calibrated. These indices should be used with caution.

  8. Astronomical calibration of the middle Eocene Contessa Highway section (Gubbio, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coccioni, R.; Florindo, F.; Jovane, L.; Marsili, A.; Sprovieri, M.

    2008-12-01

    The Earth's Eocene to early Oligocene climatic system experienced an important transition with a long-term cooling trend from warm greenhouse to icehouse conditions. Today, it is a priority to understand the causes and consequences that drove this major climatic change. In this context, a multidisciplinary study has been carried out on the middle Eocene sedimentary succession of the Contessa Highway (Gubbio, Italy). Spectral analysis and CWT technique of seven multidisciplinary high-resolution records demonstrate that climatic changes, in the western Neo-Tethys (Umbria-Marche basin) during the middle Eocene, are sensitive to eccentricity, obliquity and precession astronomical variations. In the Contessa Highway section, the lithology shows high-frequency cyclicity, which is strongly modulated by insolation. The lithologic cyclostratigraphy combined with the ~7 My-long astronomically driven climate proxy records, provide a first astronomical calibration of the middle Eocene. Here, we present astronomical age for the bio-magnetostratigraphic events along the middle Eocene Contessa Highway section. These astronomically calibrated ages mark significant improvements for the dating of biostratigraphic events and minimal correction to chronostratigraphy. Based on the available high-resolution bio-, isotope- and magnetostratigraphy and the precise multi-proxy astronomical tuning of the sedimentary record we retain that the Contessa Highway section represents an excellent candidate as GSSP for the Lutetian/Bartonian boundary.

  9. Radio Astronomical Polarimetry and Point-Source Calibration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Straten, W.

    2004-05-01

    A mathematical framework is presented for use in the experimental determination of the polarimetric response of observatory instrumentation. Elementary principles of linear algebra are applied to model the full matrix description of the polarization measurement equation by least-squares estimation of nonlinear, scalar parameters. The formalism is applied to calibrate the center element of the Parkes Multibeam receiver using observations of the millisecond pulsar PSR J0437-4715 and the radio galaxy 3C 218 (Hydra A).

  10. Radiometric calibration of the vacuum-ultraviolet spectrograph SUMER on the SOHO spacecraft with the B detector.

    PubMed

    Schühle, U; Curdt, W; Hollandt, J; Feldman, U; Lemaire, P; Wilhelm, K

    2000-01-20

    The Solar Ultraviolet Measurement of Emitted Radiation (SUMER) vacuum-ultraviolet spectrograph was calibrated in the laboratory before the integration of the instrument on the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft in 1995. During the scientific operation of the SOHO it has been possible to track the radiometric calibration of the SUMER spectrograph since March 1996 by a strategy that employs various methods to update the calibration status and improve the coverage of the spectral calibration curve. The results for the A Detector were published previously [Appl. Opt. 36, 6416 (1997)]. During three years of operation in space, the B detector was used for two and one-half years. We describe the characteristics of the B detector and present results of the tracking and refinement of the spectral calibration curves with it. Observations of the spectra of the stars alpha and rho Leonis permit an extrapolation of the calibration curves in the range from 125 to 149.0 nm. Using a solar coronal spectrum observed above the solar disk, we can extrapolate the calibration curves by measuring emission line pairs with well-known intensity ratios. The sensitivity ratio of the two photocathode areas can be obtained by registration of many emission lines in the entire spectral range on both KBr-coated and bare parts of the detector's active surface. The results are found to be consistent with the published calibration performed in the laboratory in the wavelength range from 53 to 124 nm. We can extrapolate the calibration outside this range to 147 nm with a relative uncertainty of ?30% (1varsigma) for wavelengths longer than 125 nm and to 46.5 nm with 50% uncertainty for the short-wavelength range below 53 nm.

  11. Radiometric calibration of the vacuum-ultraviolet spectrograph SUMER on the SOHO spacecraft with the B detector.

    PubMed

    Schühle, U; Curdt, W; Hollandt, J; Feldman, U; Lemaire, P; Wilhelm, K

    2000-01-20

    The Solar Ultraviolet Measurement of Emitted Radiation (SUMER) vacuum-ultraviolet spectrograph was calibrated in the laboratory before the integration of the instrument on the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft in 1995. During the scientific operation of the SOHO it has been possible to track the radiometric calibration of the SUMER spectrograph since March 1996 by a strategy that employs various methods to update the calibration status and improve the coverage of the spectral calibration curve. The results for the A Detector were published previously [Appl. Opt. 36, 6416 (1997)]. During three years of operation in space, the B detector was used for two and one-half years. We describe the characteristics of the B detector and present results of the tracking and refinement of the spectral calibration curves with it. Observations of the spectra of the stars alpha and rho Leonis permit an extrapolation of the calibration curves in the range from 125 to 149.0 nm. Using a solar coronal spectrum observed above the solar disk, we can extrapolate the calibration curves by measuring emission line pairs with well-known intensity ratios. The sensitivity ratio of the two photocathode areas can be obtained by registration of many emission lines in the entire spectral range on both KBr-coated and bare parts of the detector's active surface. The results are found to be consistent with the published calibration performed in the laboratory in the wavelength range from 53 to 124 nm. We can extrapolate the calibration outside this range to 147 nm with a relative uncertainty of ?30% (1varsigma) for wavelengths longer than 125 nm and to 46.5 nm with 50% uncertainty for the short-wavelength range below 53 nm. PMID:18337910

  12. Million object spectrograph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ditto, Thomas D.; Ritter, Joseph M.

    2008-07-01

    A new class of astronomical telescope with a primary objective grating (POG) has been studied as an alternative to mirrors. Nineteenth century POG telescopes suffered from low resolution and ambiguity of overlapping spectra as well as background noise. The present design uses a conventional secondary spectrograph to disambiguate all objects while enjoying a very wide instantaneous field-of-view, up to 40°. The POG competes with mirrors, in part, because diffraction gratings provide the very chromatic dispersion that mirrors defeat. The resulting telescope deals effectively with long-standing restrictions on multiple object spectrographs (MOS). The combination of a POG operating in the first-order, coupled to a spectrographic astronomical telescope, isolates spectra from all objects in the free spectral range of the primary. First disclosed as a concept in year 2002, a physical proof-of-principle is now reported. The miniature laboratory model used a 50 mm plane grating primary and was able to disambiguate between objects appearing at angular resolutions of 55 arcseconds and spectral spacings of 0.15 nm. Astronomical performance is a matter of increasing instrument size. A POG configured according to our specifications has no moving parts during observations and is extensible to any length that can be held flat to tolerances approaching float glass. The resulting telescope could record over one million spectra per night of objects in a line of right ascension. The novel MOS does not require pre-imaging to start acquisition of uncharted star fields. Problems are anticipated in calibration and integration time. We propose means to ameliorate them.

  13. Precise astronomical flux calibration and its impact on studying the nature of the dark energy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stubbs, Christopher W.; Brown, Yorke J.

    2015-12-01

    Measurements of the luminosity of Type Ia supernovae versus redshift provided the original evidence for the accelerating expansion of the Universe and the existence of dark energy. Despite substantial improvements in survey methodology, systematic uncertainty in flux calibration dominates the error budget for this technique, exceeding both statistics and other systematic uncertainties. Consequently, any further collection of Type Ia supernova data will fail to refine the constraints on the nature of dark energy unless we also improve the state of the art in astronomical flux calibration to the order of 1%. We describe how these systematic errors arise from calibration of instrumental sensitivity, atmospheric transmission and Galactic extinction, and discuss ongoing efforts to meet the 1% precision challenge using white dwarf stars as celestial standards, exquisitely calibrated detectors as fundamental metrologic standards, and real-time atmospheric monitoring.

  14. Kyoto Tridimensional Spectrograph II

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sugai, Hajime; Ohtani, Hiroshi; Ishigaki, Tsuyoshi; Hayashi, Tadashi; Ozaki, Shinobu; Hattori, Takashi; Ishii, M.; Sasaki, Minoru; Takeyama, Norihide

    1998-07-01

    We are building the second version of the Kyoto Tridimensional Spectrograph (Ohtani et al., this symposium). This will be mounted on the MAGNUM, a 2-m telescope under construction at Haleakala, and also on the SUBARU. The spectrograph has four observational modes: Fabry-Perot imager, integral field spectrograph (IFS) with a microlens array, long-slit spectrograph, and filter-imaging modes. The new spectrograph is significantly better than the first version in several ways. The IFS has as many as 37 X 37 microlenses, each of which subtends 0' .39 at the MAGNUM. The optics is designed to be used in wide wavelength ranges from 360 nm to 900 nm. The transmission at any wavelength between 370 and 900 nm is designed to exceed 50% for the collimator plus camera system, and to reach almost 40% even at 360 nm. In order to achieve high efficiency at short wavelengths, we use an anti- reflection coated backside-illuminated 2K X 2K CCD. We are also planning a further improvement by using multi-layer anti- reflection coatings for lenses, in collaboration with National Astronomical Observatory, Japan. In order to assure good image quality under a severe weight limit of 150 kg for this instrument, we have carried out mechanical design by calculating the flexure of the instrument for all telescope attitudes with finite element analysis, and succeeded in limiting the maximum flexure to 30 micrometer. This does not degrade image quality. The movements on the CCD of the light from the center of the focal plane have also been simulated, depending on the telescope attitudes. This is important to obtain not only a good image, but also a correct flat field and wavelength calibration in the IFS mode. The movements are expected to be confined almost within one pixel for an attitude, which is considered to be small enough.

  15. Astronomical calibration of the geological timescale: closing the middle Eocene gap

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Westerhold, T.; Röhl, U.; Frederichs, T.; Bohaty, S. M.; Zachos, J. C.

    2015-09-01

    To explore cause and consequences of past climate change, very accurate age models such as those provided by the astronomical timescale (ATS) are needed. Beyond 40 million years the accuracy of the ATS critically depends on the correctness of orbital models and radioisotopic dating techniques. Discrepancies in the age dating of sedimentary successions and the lack of suitable records spanning the middle Eocene have prevented development of a continuous astronomically calibrated geological timescale for the entire Cenozoic Era. We now solve this problem by constructing an independent astrochronological stratigraphy based on Earth's stable 405 kyr eccentricity cycle between 41 and 48 million years ago (Ma) with new data from deep-sea sedimentary sequences in the South Atlantic Ocean. This new link completes the Paleogene astronomical timescale and confirms the intercalibration of radioisotopic and astronomical dating methods back through the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM, 55.930 Ma) and the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary (66.022 Ma). Coupling of the Paleogene 405 kyr cyclostratigraphic frameworks across the middle Eocene further paves the way for extending the ATS into the Mesozoic.

  16. Development of Fiber Fabry-Perot Interferometers as Stable Near-infrared Calibration Sources for High Resolution Spectrographs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Halverson, Samuel; Mahadevan, Suvrath; Ramsey, Lawrence; Hearty, Fred; Wilson, John; Holtzman, Jon; Redman, Stephen; Nave, Gillian; Nidever, David; Nelson, Matt; Venditti, Nick; Bizyaev, Dmitry; Fleming, Scott

    2014-05-01

    We discuss the ongoing development of single-mode fiber Fabry-Perot (FFP) Interferometers as precise astrophotonic calibration sources for high precision radial velocity (RV) spectrographs. FFPs are simple, inexpensive, monolithic units that can yield a stable and repeatable output spectrum. An FFP is a unique alternative to a traditional etalon, as the interferometric cavity is made of single-mode fiber rather than an air-gap spacer. This design allows for excellent collimation, high spectral finesse, rigid mechanical stability, insensitivity to vibrations, and no need for vacuum operation. The device we have tested is a commercially available product from Micron Optics.10 Our development path is targeted toward a calibration source for the Habitable-Zone Planet Finder (HPF), a near-infrared spectrograph designed to detect terrestrial-mass planets around low-mass stars, but this reference could also be used in many existing and planned fiber-fed spectrographs as we illustrate using the Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE) instrument. With precise temperature control of the fiber etalon, we achieve a thermal stability of 100 μK and associated velocity uncertainty of 22 cm s-1. We achieve a precision of ≈2 m s-1 in a single APOGEE fiber over 12 hr using this new photonic reference after removal of systematic correlations. This high precision (close to the expected photon-limited floor) is a testament to both the excellent intrinsic wavelength stability of the fiber interferometer and the stability of the APOGEE instrument design. Overall instrument velocity precision is 80 cm s-1 over 12 hr when averaged over all 300 APOGEE fibers and after removal of known trends and pressure correlations, implying the fiber etalon is intrinsically stable to significantly higher precision.

  17. Astronomical calibration and global correlation of the Santonian (Cretaceous) based on the marine carbon isotope record

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thibault, N.; Jarvis, I.; Voigt, S.; Gale, A. S.; Attree, K.; Jenkyns, H. C.

    2016-06-01

    High-resolution records of bulk carbonate carbon isotopes have been generated for the Upper Coniacian to Lower Campanian interval of the sections at Seaford Head (southern England) and Bottaccione (central Italy). An unambiguous stratigraphic correlation is presented for the base and top of the Santonian between the Boreal and Tethyan realms. Orbital forcing of carbon and oxygen isotopes at Seaford Head points to the Boreal Santonian spanning five 405 kyr cycles (Sa1 to Sa5). Correlation of the Seaford Head time scale to that of the Niobrara Formation (Western Interior Basin) permits anchoring these records to the La2011 astronomical solution at the Santonian-Campanian (Sa/Ca) boundary, which has been recently dated to 84.19 ± 0.38 Ma. Among the five tuning options examined, option 2 places the Sa/Ca at the 84.2 Ma 405 kyr insolation minimum and appears as the most likely. This solution indicates that minima of the 405 kyr filtered output of the resistivity in the Niobrara Formation correlate to 405 kyr insolation minima in the astronomical solution and to maxima in the filtered δ13C of Seaford Head. We suggest that variance in δ13C is driven by climate forcing of the proportions of CaCO3 versus organic carbon burial on land and in oceanic basins. The astronomical calibration generates a 200 kyr mismatch of the Coniacian-Santonian boundary age between the Boreal Realm in Europe and the Western Interior, due either to diachronism of the lowest occurrence of the inoceramid Cladoceramus undulatoplicatus between the two regions or to remaining uncertainties of radiometric dating and cyclostratigraphic records.

  18. Echelle spectrograph calibration with a frequency comb based on a harmonically mode-locked fiber laser: a proposal

    SciTech Connect

    McFerran, J. J.

    2009-05-10

    Details for constructing an astronomical frequency comb suitable as a wavelength reference for echelle spectrographs associated with optical telescopes are outlined. The source laser for the frequency comb is a harmonically mode-locked fiber laser with a central wavelength of 1.56 {mu}m. The means of producing a repetition rate greater than 7 GHz and a peak optical power of {approx}8 kW are discussed. Conversion of the oscillator light into the visible can occur through a two-step process of (i) nonlinear conversion in periodically poled lithium niobate and (ii) spectral broadening in photonic crystal fiber. While not necessarily octave spanning in spectral range to permit the use of an f -to- 2f interferometer for offset frequency control, the frequency comb can be granted accuracy by linking the mode spacing and a comb tooth to separate frequency references. The design avoids the use of a Fabry-Perot cavity to increase the mode spacing of the frequency comb; however, the level of supermode suppression and sideband asymmetry in the fiber oscillator and in the subsequent frequency conversion stages are aspects that need to be experimentally tested.

  19. Toward a continuous 405-kyr-calibrated Astronomical Time Scale for the Mesozoic Era

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hinnov, Linda; Ogg, James; Huang, Chunju

    2010-05-01

    Mesozoic cyclostratigraphy is being assembled into a continuous Astronomical Time Scale (ATS) tied to the Earth's cyclic orbital parameters. Recognition of a nearly ubiquitous, dominant ~400-kyr cycling in formations throughout the era has been particularly striking. Composite formations spanning contiguous intervals up to 50 myr clearly express these long-eccentricity cycles, and in some cases, this cycling is defined by third- or fourth-order sea-level sequences. This frequency is associated with the 405-kyr orbital eccentricity cycle, which provides a basic metronome and enables the extension of the well-defined Cenozoic ATS to scale the majority of the Mesozoic Era. This astronomical calibration has a resolution comparable to the 1% to 0.1% precision for radioisotope dating of Mesozoic ash beds, but with the added benefit of providing continuous stratigraphic coverage between dated beds. Extended portions of the Mesozoic ATS provide solutions to long-standing geologic problems of tectonics, eustasy, paleoclimate change, and rates of seafloor spreading.

  20. Calibration of a cylindrical RF capacitance probe. [for radio astronomical studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mosier, S. R.; Kaiser, M. L.

    1974-01-01

    The calibration is considered of an RF antenna capacitance probe carried aboard the RAE-1 spacecraft and the correction of the probe for external effects, believed to be primarily due to local positive ion sheaths and/or photoelectron sheaths surrounding the antenna. The RAE-1 spacecraft was launched in July 1968 into a 5850-km. Circular orbit of 121-degree inclination and carried several antenna and radiometer systems covering a frequency range of 0.2 to 9.2 MHz for radio astronomical studies. The RF capacitance probe measurements discussed utilized a 37-meter electric dipole antenna formed by two monopoles made of silver-coated beryllium-copper alloy tapes formed into hollow cylindrical tubes 1.3 cm in diameter.

  1. Current Calibration Efforts and Performance of the HST Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph: Echelle Flux Calibration, the BAR5 Occulter, and Lamp Lifetimes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Monroe, TalaWanda R.; Aloisi, Alessandra; Debes, John H.; Jedrzejewski, Robert I.; Lockwood, Sean A.; Peeples, Molly S.; Proffitt, Charles R.; Riley, Allyssa; Walborn, Nolan R.

    2016-06-01

    The variety of operating modes of the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) continues to allow STIS users to obtain unique, high quality observations and cutting-edge results 19 years after its installation on HST. STIS is currently the only instrument available to the astronomy community that allows high spectral and spatial resolution spectroscopy in the FUV and NUV, including echelle modes. STIS also supports solar-blind imaging in the FUV. In the optical, STIS provides long-slit, first-order spectra that take advantage of HST's superb spatial resolution, as well as several unique unfiltered coronagraphic modes, which continue to benefit the exoplanet and debris-disk communities. The STIS instrument team monitors the instrument’s health and performance over time to characterize the effects of radiation damage and continued use of the detectors and optical elements. Additionally, the STIS team continues to improve the quality of data products for the user community. We present updates on efforts to improve the echelle flux calibration of overlapping spectral orders due to changes in the grating blaze function since HST Servicing Mission 4, and efforts to push the contrast limit and smallest inner working angle attainable with the coronagraphic BAR5 occulter. We also provide updates on the performance of the STIS calibration lamps, including work to maintain the accuracy of the wavelength calibration for all modes.

  2. Astronomical calibration of the Boreal Santonian (Cretaceous) based on the marine carbon isotope record and correlation to the tropical realm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thibault, Nicolas; Jarvis, Ian; Voigt, Silke; Gale, Andy; Attree, Kevin; Jenkyns, Hugh

    2016-04-01

    New high-resolution records of bulk carbonate carbon isotopes have been generated for the Upper Coniacian to Lower Campanian interval of the reference sections at Seaford Head (southern England) and Bottaccione (Gubbio, central Italy). These records allow for a new and unambiguous stratigraphic correlation of the base and top of the Santonian between the Boreal and Tethyan realms. Orbital forcing of stable carbon and oxygen isotopes can be highlighted in the Seaford Head dataset, and a floating astronomical time scale is presented for the Santonian of the section, which spans five 405 kyr cycles (Sa1 to Sa5). Macro-, micro- and nannofossil biostratigraphy of the Seaford section is integrated along with magnetostratigraphy, carbon-isotope chemostratigraphy and cyclostratigraphy. Correlation of the Seaford Head astronomical time scale to that of the Niobrara Formation (U.S. Western Interior Basin) allows for anchoring these records to the La2011 astronomical solution at the Santonian-Campanian (Sa/Ca) boundary, which has been recently dated to 84.19±0.38 Ma. Five different astronomical tuning options are examined. The astronomical calibration generates a c. 200 kyr mismatch of the Coniacian-Santonian boundary age between the Boreal Realm in Europe and the Western Interior, likely due either to slight diachronism of the first occurrence of the inoceramid Cladoceramus undulatoplicatus between the two regions, or to remaining uncertainties of radiometric dating and the cyclostratigraphic records.

  3. On-orbit calibration of the Special Sensor Ultraviolet Scanning Imager (SSUSI): a far-UV imaging spectrograph on DMSP F-16

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morrison, Daniel; Paxton, Larry J.; Humm, David C.; Wolven, Brian; Kil, Hyosub; Zhang, Yongliang; Ogorzalek, Bernard S.; Meng, Ching-I.

    2002-01-01

    The Special Sensor Ultraviolet Spectrographic Imager (SSUSI) is currently slated for launch on the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) F-16 in November 2001. This instrument consists of a scanning imaging spectrograph (SIS) whose field-of-view is scanned from horizon-to-horizon and a nadir-looking photometer system (NPS). It will provide operational information about the state of the atmosphere above 100 km. The unique problems incurred by the observational requirements (e.g. that we be able to make daytime and nighttime observations) and the design trade-offs needed to meet those requirements were strong drivers on calibration requirements. Those design trade-offs and the expectation that the instrument calibration will change appreciably in-flight have led to the requirement to perform a large instrument characterization in-flight using only natural sources. We focus, in this paper, on the flight characterization of the SSUSI instrument. This includes discussions of the stellar calibration approach for radiometric calibration, measurements of internally scattered light, sensitivity to the South Atlantic Anomaly, measurements of changing pulse height distributions, and measuring changing reflectivity of a nadir viewing scan mirror. In addition, the calibration of the NPS system using natural sources is addressed.

  4. Demonstration of on-sky calibration of astronomical spectra using a 25 GHz near-IR laser frequency comb.

    PubMed

    Ycas, Gabriel G; Quinlan, Franklyn; Diddams, Scott A; Osterman, Steve; Mahadevan, Suvrath; Redman, Stephen; Terrien, Ryan; Ramsey, Lawrence; Bender, Chad F; Botzer, Brandon; Sigurdsson, Steinn

    2012-03-12

    We describe and characterize a 25 GHz laser frequency comb based on a cavity-filtered erbium fiber mode-locked laser. The comb provides a uniform array of optical frequencies spanning 1450 nm to 1700 nm, and is stabilized by use of a global positioning system referenced atomic clock. This comb was deployed at the 9.2 m Hobby-Eberly telescope at the McDonald Observatory where it was used as a radial velocity calibration source for the fiber-fed Pathfinder near-infrared spectrograph. Stellar targets were observed in three echelle orders over four nights, and radial velocity precision of ∼10 m/s (∼6 MHz) was achieved from the comb-calibrated spectra.

  5. LONG-TERM CALIBRATION STABILITY OF A RADIO ASTRONOMICAL PHASED ARRAY FEED

    SciTech Connect

    Elmer, Michael; Jeffs, Brian D.; Warnick, Karl F.

    2013-01-01

    There are many challenges associated with the implementation of a phased array feed for radio astronomy applications. Among these is the need to have an adequate set of calibration measurements so that reliable beamformers can be computed. Changes in the operating environment and temporal gain drift in the electronics contribute to calibration drift, which affects the beamformer performance. We will show that calibration measurements are relatively stable over a 5 day period and may remain so for up to 70 days or longer. We have incorporated the use of a calibration update system that has the potential to refresh a set of old calibrators, specifically correcting for electronic gain drift. However, the long-term variations that are present with fresh, current calibrators are greater than the degradation due to using an old calibration set, suggesting that, at this time, there is not a need for sophisticated calibration update systems or algorithms.

  6. Commissioning and in-flight calibration results of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter's Lyman Alpha Mapping Project (LRO/LAMP) UV imaging spectrograph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davis, Michael W.; Gladstone, G. Randall; Versteeg, Maarten H.; Greathouse, Thomas K.; Stern, S. Alan; Parker, Joel Wm.; Steffl, Andrew J.; Retherford, Kurt D.; Slater, David C.

    2011-09-01

    The Lyman Alpha Mapping Project (LAMP) is a lightweight (6.1 kg), low-power (4.5 W), ultraviolet spectrograph based on the Alice instruments now in flight aboard the European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft and NASA's New Horizons spacecraft. Its primary job on NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) is to identify and localize exposed water frost in permanently shadowed regions (PSRs) near the Moon's poles, and to characterize landforms and albedos in PSRs. In this paper we describe the in-flight radiometric performance and commissioning results and compare them to ground calibration measurements.

  7. Calibration of radio-astronomical data on the cloud. LOFAR, the pathway to SKA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sabater, J.; Sánchez-Expósito, S.; Garrido, J.; Ruiz, J. E.; Best, P. N.; Verdes-Montenegro, L.

    2015-05-01

    The radio interferometer LOFAR (LOw Frequency ARray) is fully operational now. This Square Kilometre Array (SKA) pathfinder allows the observation of the sky at frequencies between 10 and 240 MHz, a relatively unexplored region of the spectrum. LOFAR is a software defined telescope: the data is mainly processed using specialized software running in common computing facilities. That means that the capabilities of the telescope are virtually defined by software and mainly limited by the available computing power. However, the quantity of data produced can quickly reach huge volumes (several Petabytes per day). After the correlation and pre-processing of the data in a dedicated cluster, the final dataset is handled to the user (typically several Terabytes). The calibration of these data requires a powerful computing facility in which the specific state of the art software under heavy continuous development can be easily installed and updated. That makes this case a perfect candidate for a cloud infrastructure which adds the advantages of an on demand, flexible solution. We present our approach to the calibration of LOFAR data using Ibercloud, the cloud infrastructure provided by Ibergrid. With the calibration work-flow adapted to the cloud, we can explore calibration strategies for the SKA and show how private or commercial cloud infrastructures (Ibercloud, Amazon EC2, Google Compute Engine, etc.) can help to solve the problems with big datasets that will be prevalent in the future of astronomy.

  8. Closing the Mid- Paleocene gap: toward a complete astronomically calibrated Paleocene Epoch at Zumaia (Basque Basin, W Pyrenees)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dinares-Turell, J.; Baceta, J.; Bernaola, G.; Orue-Etxebarria, X.; Pujalte, V.

    2007-05-01

    The ~10 Myr long Paleocene Epoch is bounded by two of the most popular and studied chronostratigraphic limits, the Cretaceous/Tertiary (K/T) boundary at its base and the Paleocne/Eocene (P/E) boundary at the top. The Paleocene time scale has relied on an age model for magnetic polarity chrons derived from a cubic-spline fit of marine magnetic anomaly pattern in the South Atlantic to two radiometrically dated calibration points (Cande & Kent, 1992, 1995). These include an age of 65 Ma for the K/T boundary (66 Ma in the CK92 time scale) and a derived age of 55 Ma for the P-E boundary (this age constrained from 40Ar/39Ar dated volcanic ash layers within a clay sequence in Denmark). An age of 65.5±0.3 Ma for the K/T and 55.8±0.2 Ma for the P/E are taken in the most recent time scale GTS2004 (Gradstein et al, 2004) which combines both isotopically (using a 28.02 Ma age for the Fish Canyon Sanidine FCT monitor standard) and astronomically derived ages in the Neogene. However, intercalibration of single crystal sanidine dates of primary ash layers in astronomically dated sections arrives at an astronomically calibrated age of 28.24±0.1 Ma for the FCT standard (Hilgen et al., 2006), which will suggest an ~1% underestimate in current Paleogene ages. Thus, the astronomically tuned chronology for the (hemi)-pelagic basal Paleocene succession at Zumaia (Dinarès-Turell et al, 2003) that arrives an estimated age of ~65.8 Ma for the K/T appears consistent. In that study an ~4 Myr long tuned chronology based on the R7 full numerical solution for the Solar System of Varadi et al. (2003) we presented. However, more recently a second solution has been proposed (La04, Laskar et al., 2004), which differs notably in the Paleocene with respect R7 (offsets between the ~2.25 Myr long-term cycles). The differences arise from the uncertainty due to the chaotic behaviour of the inner planets to some resonant argument that limits an accurate age determination of successive minima in this

  9. Updated Status and Performance for the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taylor, Joanna M.; De Rosa, Gisella; Debes, John H.; Ely, Justin; Fix, Mees B.; Fox, Andrew; Jedrzejewski, Robert I.; Lockwood, Sean A.; Monroe, TalaWanda R.; Oliveira, Cristina M.; Peeples, Molly S.; Penton, Steven V.; Plesha, Rachel; Proffitt, Charles R.; Roman-Duval, Julia; Sahnow, David J.; Sonnentrucker, Paule; Walborn, Nolan R.; White, James

    2016-06-01

    The Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS) was installed on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) in May 2009. COS is designed to perform high-sensitivity medium- and low-resolution spectroscopy of astronomical objects in the far-ultraviolet (FUV) and near-ultraviolet (NUV) wavelength regimes. We present updates on the time-dependent sensitivities of both the NUV and FUV detectors. Additionally, we discuss the appearance and mitigation of transient, isolated regions of increased count rates on the COS FUV detector called “hot spots”. We also present updates to the COS calibration pipeline, CalCOS, that provide improvements to COS data products.

  10. Replicated spectrographs in astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hill, Gary J.

    2014-06-01

    As telescope apertures increase, the challenge of scaling spectrographic astronomical instruments becomes acute. The next generation of extremely large telescopes (ELTs) strain the availability of glass blanks for optics and engineering to provide sufficient mechanical stability. While breaking the relationship between telescope diameter and instrument pupil size by adaptive optics is a clear path for small fields of view, survey instruments exploiting multiplex advantages will be pressed to find cost-effective solutions. In this review we argue that exploiting the full potential of ELTs will require the barrier of the cost and engineering difficulty of monolithic instruments to be broken by the use of large-scale replication of spectrographs. The first steps in this direction have already been taken with the soon to be commissioned MUSE and VIRUS instruments for the Very Large Telescope and the Hobby-Eberly Telescope, respectively. MUSE employs 24 spectrograph channels, while VIRUS has 150 channels. We compare the information gathering power of these replicated instruments with the present state of the art in more traditional spectrographs, and with instruments under development for ELTs. Design principles for replication are explored along with lessons learned, and we look forward to future technologies that could make massively-replicated instruments even more compelling.

  11. Updates to the Performance and Calibration of the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph on the Hubble Space Telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ely, Justin; Becker, George; Biretta, John; Debes, John; Fox, Andrew; Lockwood, sean; Massa, Derck; Monroe, TalaWanda; Oliveira, Cristina; Jedrzejekski, Robert; Peeples, Molly; Penton, Steven Victor; Plesha, Rachel; Proffitt, Charles; Roman-Duval, Julia; Sahnow, David; Sana, Hugues; Sonnentrucker, Paule G.; Taylor, Joanna; Walborn, Nolan

    2015-08-01

    The Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) has been on orbit for approximately 18 years and continues to produce high quality scientific results using a diverse complement of operating modes. These include spatially resolved spectroscopy in the UV and optical, high spatial resolution echelle spectroscopy in the UV, and solar-blind imaging in the UV. In addition, STIS possesses unique visible-light coronagraphic modes that keep the instrument at the forefront of exoplanet and debris-disk research. As the instrument's characteristics evolve over the instrument’s lifetime, the instrument team at Space Telescope Science Institute monitors its performance and works towards improving the quality of its products. Here we present updates on the status of the STIS CCD and FUV &NUV MAMA detectors, as well as changes to the CalSTIS reduction pipeline and available instrument modes. As the STIS CCD detector continues to suffer from charge transfer inefficiency (CTI) due to prolonged radiation damage, we also present an update on the on-going effort to develop a stand-alone tool to perform a pixel-based CTI correction on the STIS CCD, for distribution to the community.

  12. Update to the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph FUV Calibration: Improved Characterization Below 1150 Angstroms and Improved Absolute Flux Calibration at all Wavelengths

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sonnentrucker, Paule; Bostroem, K. A.; Ely, J.; Debes, J. H.; DiFelice, A.; Hernandez, S.; Hodge, P. E.; Lindsay, K.; Lockwood, S. A.; Massa, D.; Oliveira, C. M.; Roman-Duval, J.; Penton, S. V.; Proffitt, C. R.; Taylor, J. M.

    2014-01-01

    As of Cycle 20, the three COS/FUV "Blue Mode" wavelength settings at G130M/1055, 1096 and 1222, have become available as regular observing modes. We provide updates on the wavelength and flux calibration of these new Blue Mode settings, which allow medium-resolution spectroscopy down to 900A with effective areas comparable to those of FUSE. We discuss also recent improvements to the COS/FUV flux and flat-field calibrations and present the most recent time-dependent sensitivity trends of the FUV and NUV channels.

  13. Astronomically calibrated 40Ar/39Ar age for the Toba supereruption and global synchronization of late Quaternary records

    PubMed Central

    Storey, Michael; Roberts, Richard G.; Saidin, Mokhtar

    2012-01-01

    The Toba supereruption in Sumatra, ∼74 thousand years (ka) ago, was the largest terrestrial volcanic event of the Quaternary. Ash and sulfate aerosols were deposited in both hemispheres, forming a time-marker horizon that can be used to synchronize late Quaternary records globally. A precise numerical age for this event has proved elusive, with dating uncertainties larger than the millennial-scale climate cycles that characterized this period. We report an astronomically calibrated 40Ar/39Ar age of 73.88 ± 0.32 ka (1σ, full external errors) for sanidine crystals extracted from Toba deposits in the Lenggong Valley, Malaysia, 350 km from the eruption source and 6 km from an archaeological site with stone artifacts buried by ash. If these artifacts were made by Homo sapiens, as has been suggested, then our age indicates that modern humans had reached Southeast Asia by ∼74 ka ago. Our 40Ar/39Ar age is an order-of-magnitude more precise than previous estimates, resolving the timing of the eruption to the middle of the cold interval between Dansgaard–Oeschger events 20 and 19, when a peak in sulfate concentration occurred as registered by Greenland ice cores. This peak is followed by a ∼10 °C drop in the Greenland surface temperature over ∼150 y, revealing the possible climatic impact of the eruption. Our 40Ar/39Ar age also provides a high-precision calibration point for other ice, marine, and terrestrial archives containing Toba sulfates and ash, facilitating their global synchronization at unprecedented resolution for a critical period in Earth and human history beyond the range of 14C dating. PMID:23112159

  14. Astronomically calibrated 40Ar/39Ar age for the Toba supereruption and global synchronization of late Quaternary records

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Storey, Michael; Roberts, Richard G.; Saidin, Mokhtar

    2012-11-01

    The Toba supereruption in Sumatra, ∼74 thousand years (ka) ago, was the largest terrestrial volcanic event of the Quaternary. Ash and sulfate aerosols were deposited in both hemispheres, forming a time-marker horizon that can be used to synchronize late Quaternary records globally. A precise numerical age for this event has proved elusive, with dating uncertainties larger than the millennial-scale climate cycles that characterized this period. We report an astronomically calibrated 40Ar/39Ar age of 73.88 ± 0.32 ka (1σ, full external errors) for sanidine crystals extracted from Toba deposits in the Lenggong Valley, Malaysia, 350 km from the eruption source and 6 km from an archaeological site with stone artifacts buried by ash. If these artifacts were made by Homo sapiens, as has been suggested, then our age indicates that modern humans had reached Southeast Asia by ∼74 ka ago. Our 40Ar/39Ar age is an order-of-magnitude more precise than previous estimates, resolving the timing of the eruption to the middle of the cold interval between Dansgaard-Oeschger events 20 and 19, when a peak in sulfate concentration occurred as registered by Greenland ice cores. This peak is followed by a ∼10 °C drop in the Greenland surface temperature over ∼150 y, revealing the possible climatic impact of the eruption. Our 40Ar/39Ar age also provides a high-precision calibration point for other ice, marine, and terrestrial archives containing Toba sulfates and ash, facilitating their global synchronization at unprecedented resolution for a critical period in Earth and human history beyond the range of 14C dating.

  15. Astronomically calibrated 40Ar/39Ar age for the Toba supereruption and global synchronization of late Quaternary records.

    PubMed

    Storey, Michael; Roberts, Richard G; Saidin, Mokhtar

    2012-11-13

    The Toba supereruption in Sumatra, ∼74 thousand years (ka) ago, was the largest terrestrial volcanic event of the Quaternary. Ash and sulfate aerosols were deposited in both hemispheres, forming a time-marker horizon that can be used to synchronize late Quaternary records globally. A precise numerical age for this event has proved elusive, with dating uncertainties larger than the millennial-scale climate cycles that characterized this period. We report an astronomically calibrated (40)Ar/(39)Ar age of 73.88 ± 0.32 ka (1σ, full external errors) for sanidine crystals extracted from Toba deposits in the Lenggong Valley, Malaysia, 350 km from the eruption source and 6 km from an archaeological site with stone artifacts buried by ash. If these artifacts were made by Homo sapiens, as has been suggested, then our age indicates that modern humans had reached Southeast Asia by ∼74 ka ago. Our (40)Ar/(39)Ar age is an order-of-magnitude more precise than previous estimates, resolving the timing of the eruption to the middle of the cold interval between Dansgaard-Oeschger events 20 and 19, when a peak in sulfate concentration occurred as registered by Greenland ice cores. This peak is followed by a ∼10 °C drop in the Greenland surface temperature over ∼150 y, revealing the possible climatic impact of the eruption. Our (40)Ar/(39)Ar age also provides a high-precision calibration point for other ice, marine, and terrestrial archives containing Toba sulfates and ash, facilitating their global synchronization at unprecedented resolution for a critical period in Earth and human history beyond the range of (14)C dating. PMID:23112159

  16. Direct high-precision U-Pb geochronology of the end-Cretaceous extinction and calibration of Paleocene astronomical timescales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clyde, William C.; Ramezani, Jahandar; Johnson, Kirk R.; Bowring, Samuel A.; Jones, Matthew M.

    2016-10-01

    The Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) boundary is the best known and most widely recognized global time horizon in Earth history and coincides with one of the two largest known mass extinctions. We present a series of new high-precision uranium-lead (U-Pb) age determinations by the chemical abrasion isotope dilution thermal ionization mass spectrometry (CA-ID-TIMS) method from volcanic ash deposits within a tightly constrained magnetobiostratigraphic framework across the K-Pg boundary in the Denver Basin, Colorado, USA. This new timeline provides a precise interpolated absolute age for the K-Pg boundary of 66.021 ± 0.024 / 0.039 / 0.081 Ma, constrains the ages of magnetic polarity Chrons C28 to C30, and offers a direct and independent test of early Paleogene astronomical and 40Ar/39Ar based timescales. Temporal calibration of paleontological and palynological data from the same deposits shows that the interval between the extinction of the dinosaurs and the appearance of earliest Cenozoic mammals in the Denver Basin lasted ∼185 ky (and no more than 570 ky) and the 'fern spike' lasted ∼1 ky (and no more than 71 ky) after the K-Pg boundary layer was deposited, indicating rapid rates of biotic extinction and initial recovery in the Denver Basin during this event.

  17. Astronomical Polarimetry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tinbergen, Jaap

    1996-09-01

    This handy volume provides a clear, comprehensive and concise introduction to astronomical polarimetry at all wavelengths. Starting from first principles and a simple physical picture of polarized radiation, the author introduces the reader to all the key topics, including Stokes parameters, applications of polarimetry in astronomy, polarization algebra, polarization errors and calibration methods, and a selection of instruments (from radio to X-ray). The author rounds off the book with a number of useful case studies, a collection of exercises, an extensive list of further reading and an informative index. This review of all aspects of astronomical polarization provides both an essential introduction for graduate students, and a valuable reference for practicing astronomers.

  18. Methods in Astronomical Image Processing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jörsäter, S.

    A Brief Introductory Note History of Astronomical Imaging Astronomical Image Data Images in Various Formats Digitized Image Data Digital Image Data Philosophy of Astronomical Image Processing Properties of Digital Astronomical Images Human Image Processing Astronomical vs. Computer Science Image Processing Basic Tools of Astronomical Image Processing Display Applications Calibration of Intensity Scales Calibration of Length Scales Image Re-shaping Feature Enhancement Noise Suppression Noise and Error Analysis Image Processing Packages: Design of AIPS and MIDAS AIPS MIDAS Reduction of CCD Data Bias Subtraction Clipping Preflash Subtraction Dark Subtraction Flat Fielding Sky Subtraction Extinction Correction Deconvolution Methods Rebinning/Combining Summary and Prospects for the Future

  19. FLECHAS - A new échelle spectrograph at the University Observatory Jena

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mugrauer, M.; Avila, G.; Guirao, C.

    The new échelle spectrograph FLECHAS (Fibre Linked ECHelle Astronomical Spectrograph) is in operation at the Nasmyth-focus of the 0.9 m telescope of the University Observatory Jena. FLECHAS is equipped with a sensitive back-illuminated and midband coated CCD-detector, as well as with a calibration unit for flatfield and wavelength-calibration. The spectrograph covers the spectral range between about 3900 and 8100 Åand exhibits a resolving power of R˜9300. In this article all technical characteristics of FLECHAS are described and examples of the first astronomical observations obtained with the new instrument in July 2013 at the University Observatory Jena are presented, among them the first light spectra taken with FLECHAS, simultaneous imaging and spectroscopic observations, the determination of the detection limit of the instrument, the spectroscopy of stars of different spectral types and of faint extended objects, as well as the Li-line detection in the spectra of young solar-like stars. Based on observations obtained with telescopes of the University Observatory Jena, which is operated by the Astrophysical Institute of the Friedrich-Schiller-University.

  20. Astronomical photography, part T

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dunkelman, L.; Mercer, R. D.; Ross, C. L.; Worden, A. M.

    1972-01-01

    Photographic observations of astronomical interest conducted during the Apollo 15 mission are discussed. Procedures used in photographing the solar corona are described together with calibration and reduction methods. In addition, selected preliminary results obtained from the photography are presented.

  1. Better flat-fielding for ground-based UV spectrographs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kerber, Florian; Hanuschik, Reinhard; Moehler, Sabine; Smette, Alain; Smoker, Jonathan; Bourget, Pierre; Dwyer, Peter J.; Rotschädl, Michael

    2014-07-01

    A new technological development, the laser driven light source (LDLS), in which a laser excited plasma emits intense continuum radiation over a wide wavelength range from well below the atmospheric cut-off up to 800 nm, promises to greatly improve our ability to provide high quality flat-fields for astronomical spectrographs. Its particular strength lies in the ground-based ultraviolet (UV). We report on tests conducted with a LDLS using FORS2, UVES, X-Shooter and CRIRES at ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) in August 2013. Comparison with standard calibration sources such as halogen and deuterium lamps shows that with the LDLS flat-fields with a better balanced dynamic range and excellent signal to noise ratio can be achieved within short exposure times. This will enable higher quality science at the short wavelength end of existing spectrographs at the VLT. Furthermore the LDLS provides exceptional stability and long lifetime as important operational aspects. Optimised UV spectrographs such as the proposed CUBES (wavelength range 300-400 nm) project will be able to take full advantage of this development removing the long-standing limitation of signal to noise ratios of UV flat-fields.

  2. Astronomical timescale calibration for the Permian-Triassic boundary transition interval from global correlation of cyclic marine sequences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, C.; Hinnov, L. A.; Tong, J.; Chen, Z.

    2011-12-01

    The mass extinctions near the Permian-Triassic boundary (PTB) resulted in the greatest dying of life on Earth. The cause of this catastrophe remains enigmatic. High-resolution chronology is crucial to understanding the recorded pattern of biotic evolution and possible causes for the extinctions. Magnetic susceptibility (MS) data from Shangsi, South China shows evidence for astronomical forcing through the PTB interval, with strong 405-kyr cycling. This allows development of an astrochronology for the PTB interval based on the 405-kyr orbital eccentricity metronome that has been proposed for the Mesozoic timescale. Radioisotope dating combined with the 405-kyr tuned MS series from Shangsi shows that the 405-kyr-cycle predominates throughout the PTB interval. In the Permian segment, ~100-kyr cyclicity dominates, and the 100-kyr-scale MS maxima correlate with high-amplitude precession-scale MS variations. Minima in the ~1.5-Myr, 405-kyr and ~100-kyr cycles converge at 252.6 Ma, approximately 200 kyr before the onset of the main mass extinction near the PTB. In the Triassic aftermath, the recorded astronomical signal is different, with predominant 405-kyr cycles and loss of 100 kyr cyclicity, and appearance of ~33 kyr (obliquity scale) cyclicity; 100-kyr cyclicity strengthens again 2 Myr later. This pattern indicates a change in the response of the depositional environment (or magnetic susceptibility) to astronomical forcing before and after the mass extinction interval. The astrochronology interpolates the timescale between the radioisotopically determined absolute dates; this facilitates estimation of ages for specific events in the PTB crisis, including magnetic reversals, biozone boundaries, and the mass extinctions. An estimated ~700 kyr duration for the Mass Extinction Interval (MEI) at Shangsi based on the 405-kyr tuning is supported by eccentricity-tuned estimates of three other sections in China (Meishan, Huangzhishan, and Heping), and two Alpine sections

  3. Suppression of fiber modal noise induced radial velocity errors for bright emission-line calibration sources

    SciTech Connect

    Mahadevan, Suvrath; Halverson, Samuel; Ramsey, Lawrence; Venditti, Nick

    2014-05-01

    Modal noise in optical fibers imposes limits on the signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) and velocity precision achievable with the next generation of astronomical spectrographs. This is an increasingly pressing problem for precision radial velocity spectrographs in the near-infrared (NIR) and optical that require both high stability of the observed line profiles and high S/N. Many of these spectrographs plan to use highly coherent emission-line calibration sources like laser frequency combs and Fabry-Perot etalons to achieve precision sufficient to detect terrestrial-mass planets. These high-precision calibration sources often use single-mode fibers or highly coherent sources. Coupling light from single-mode fibers to multi-mode fibers leads to only a very low number of modes being excited, thereby exacerbating the modal noise measured by the spectrograph. We present a commercial off-the-shelf solution that significantly mitigates modal noise at all optical and NIR wavelengths, and which can be applied to spectrograph calibration systems. Our solution uses an integrating sphere in conjunction with a diffuser that is moved rapidly using electrostrictive polymers, and is generally superior to most tested forms of mechanical fiber agitation. We demonstrate a high level of modal noise reduction with a narrow bandwidth 1550 nm laser. Our relatively inexpensive solution immediately enables spectrographs to take advantage of the innate precision of bright state-of-the art calibration sources by removing a major source of systematic noise.

  4. High resolution spectrograph. [for LST

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Peacock, K.

    1975-01-01

    The high resolution spectrograph (HRS) is designed to be used with the Large Space Telescope (LST) for the study of spectra of point and extended targets in the spectral range 110 to 410 nm. It has spectral resolutions of 1,000; 30,000; and 100,000 and has a field of view as large as 10 arc sec. The spectral range and resolution are selectable using interchangeable optical components and an echelle spectrograph is used to display a cross dispersed spectrum on the photocathode of either of 2 SEC orthicon image tubes. Provisions are included for wavelength calibration, target identification and acquisition and thermal control. The system considerations of the instrument are described.

  5. Curved VPH gratings for novel spectrographs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clemens, J. Christopher; O'Donoghue, Darragh; Dunlap, Bart H.

    2014-07-01

    The introduction of volume phase holographic (VPH) gratings into astronomy over a decade ago opened new possibilities for instrument designers. In this paper we describe an extension of VPH grating technology that will have applications in astronomy and beyond: curved VPH gratings. These devices can disperse light while simultaneously correcting aberrations. We have designed and manufactured two different kinds of convex VPH grating prototypes for use in off-axis reflecting spectrographs. One type functions in transmission and the other in reflection, enabling Offnerstyle spectrographs with the high-efficiency and low-cost advantages of VPH gratings. We will discuss the design process and the tools required for modelling these gratings along with the recording layout and process steps required to fabricate them. We will present performance data for the first convex VPH grating produced for an astronomical spectrograph.

  6. Integrating TV/digital data spectrograph system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Duncan, B. J.; Fay, T. D.; Miller, E. R.; Wamsteker, W.; Brown, R. M.; Neely, P. L.

    1975-01-01

    A 25-mm vidicon camera was previously modified to allow operation in an integration mode for low-light-level astronomical work. The camera was then mated to a low-dispersion spectrograph for obtaining spectral information in the 400 to 750 nm range. A high speed digital video image system was utilized to digitize the analog video signal, place the information directly into computer-type memory, and record data on digital magnetic tape for permanent storage and subsequent analysis.

  7. Updated Status and Performance for the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph Onboard the Hubble Space Telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taylor, Joanna M.; Aloisi, A.; Bacinski, J.; Bostroem, K. A.; Debes, J. H.; Roman-Duval, J.; Ely, J.; DiFelice, A.; Hernandez, S.; Kriss, G. A.; Hodge, P.; Lindsay, K.; Lockwood, S. A.; Massa, D.; Oliveira, C. M.; Osten, R. A.; Penton, S. V.; Proffitt, C. R.; Sahnow, D. J.; Sonnentrucker, P.; Wheeler, T.

    2013-06-01

    The Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS) was installed on the Hubble Space Telescope in May 2009. Although COS was initially designed to perform high-sensitivity medium- and low-resolution spectroscopy of astronomical objects in the 1150-3200 Å wavelength range, new wavelength settings have recently become available that allow medium-resolution spectroscopy down to 900 Å, at effective areas comparable to those of FUSE. Here we provide an update on the implementation of the new short wavelength settings G130M/1222, 1096, and 1055. We discuss changes to the Far-Ultraviolet (FUV) and Near-Ultraviolet (NUV) dark rates, FUV pulse height filtering, new and improved flux calibrations for FUV Lifetime Positions 1 and 2, changes in sensitivity for both the NUV and FUV channels, and give a general overview of the calibration projects undertaken in Cycles 19 and 20.

  8. Astronomical calibration of the Toarcian Stage: Implications for sequence stratigraphy and duration of the early Toarcian OAE

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boulila, Slah; Galbrun, Bruno; Huret, Emilia; Hinnov, Linda A.; Rouget, Isabelle; Gardin, Silvia; Bartolini, Annachiara

    2014-01-01

    The Toarcian Oceanic Anoxic Event (T-OAE) of the early Jurassic period involves one of the largest perturbations of the carbon cycle in the past 250 Ma, recorded by a pronounced negative carbon-isotope excursion (CIE). Numerous studies have focused on potential causes of the T-OAE and CIE, but are hampered by an uncertain timescale. Here we present high-resolution (∼2 kyr) magnetic susceptibility (MS) measurements from the marine marls of the Sancerre-Couy drill-core, southern Paris Basin, spanning the entire Toarcian Stage. The MS variations document a rich series of sub-Milankovitch to Milankovitch frequencies (precession, obliquity and eccentricity) with the periodic g2-g5 (405 kyr) and quasi-periodic g4-g3 (∼2.4 Myr Cenozoic mean periodicity) eccentricity terms being the most prominent. The MS-related g4-g3 variation reflects third-order eustatic sequences, and constrains the sequence stratigraphic framework of the Toarcian Stage. In addition, MS variations reveal a modulation of g2-g5 by g4-g3 eccentricity related cycles, suggesting that sea-level change was the main control on the deposition of the Toarcian Sancerre marls, in tune with the astro-climatic frequencies. The stable 405 kyr cyclicity constrains a minimum duration of the Toarcian Stage to ∼8.3 Myr, and the well documented CIE, associated with the T-OAE, to ∼300 to 500 kyr. The 405 kyr MS timescale calibrates the periodicity of the prominent high-frequency δC13 cycles that occur in the decreasing part of the CIE to 30 to 34 kyr, consistent with the Toarcian obliquity period predicted for an Earth experiencing sustained tidal dissipation.

  9. A high-resolution Fourier transform spectrometer for astronomical observations and development of wavelength standards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lemke, Ulrike; Reiners, Ansgar; Schäfer, Sebastian

    2012-09-01

    At the Institute for Astrophysics Goettingen (IAG), we are purchasing a high resolution Fourier Transform Spectrograph (FTS) for astronomical observations and development of calibration standards aiming at high wavelength precision. Astronomical spectrographs that work in the regime of very high resolution (resolving powers λ/δλ>=105) now achieve unprecedented precision and stability. Precise line shifts can be investigated to conclude for an objects radial velocity relative to the observer. As a long-term scientific goal, the evolution of galaxy redshift due to dark energy can be monitored. Also, the detection of lower mass, down to Earth-like planets will become feasible. Here, M-dwarfs are promising objects where an orbiting exo-Earth can cause a wavelength shift large enough to be detected. Emitting mainly in the near infrared (NIR), these objects require novel calibration standards. Current schemes under consideration are gas cathode lamps (e.g. CN, UNe) and a highly stable Fabry-Perot interferometer (FPI) to act as a cost-efficient alternative to the laser frequency comb (LFC, [1]). In addition to experiments exploring novel wavelength calibration types, light will be fed from our telescopes at IAG. A Vacuum Tower Telescope (VTT) for solar observations and the 50 cm Cassegrain telescope allow to investigate stellar and spatially resolved light at our facilities.

  10. Production-line assembly of 150+ VIRUS spectrographs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marshall, J. L.; Vattiat, Brian; DePoy, D. L.; Hill, Gary J.; Collins, Amanda D.; Lee, Hanshin; Allen, Richard D.; Kelz, Andreas; Bauer, Svend M.; Popow, Emil

    2010-07-01

    The Visual Integral-Field Replicable Unit Spectrograph (VIRUS) instrument is being built to support observations for the Hobby-Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment (HETDEX) project. The instrument consists of 150+ identical fiber-fed integral field optical spectrographs. This instrument provides a unique challenge in astronomical instrumentation: each of the 150+ instruments must be identical and each component must be interchangeable amongst every other spectrograph in order to ease assembly and maintenance of the instrument. In this paper we describe plans for the production-line assembly of the spectrographs. In particular, we discuss the assembly procedures and design choices that will ensure uniformity of the spectrographs and support the project schedule.

  11. Astronomical observatories

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ponomarev, D. N.

    1983-01-01

    The layout and equipment of astronomical observatories, the oldest scientific institutions of human society are discussed. The example of leading observatories of the USSR allows the reader to familiarize himself with both their modern counterparts, as well as the goals and problems on which astronomers are presently working.

  12. Blind Astronomers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hockey, Thomas A.

    2011-01-01

    The phrase "blind astronomer” is used as an allegorical oxymoron. However, there were and are blind astronomers. What of famous blind astronomers? First, it must be stated that these astronomers were not martyrs to their craft. It is a myth that astronomers blind themselves by observing the Sun. As early as France's William of Saint-Cloud (circa 1290) astronomers knew that staring at the Sun was ill-advised and avoided it. Galileo Galilei did not invent the astronomical telescope and then proceed to blind himself with one. Galileo observed the Sun near sunrise and sunset or through projection. More than two decades later he became blind, as many septuagenarians do, unrelated to their profession. Even Isaac Newton temporarily blinded himself, staring at the reflection of the Sun when he was a twentysomething. But permanent Sun-induced blindness? No, it did not happen. For instance, it was a stroke that left Scotland's James Gregory (1638-1675) blind. (You will remember the Gregorian telescope.) However, he died days later. Thus, blindness little interfered with his occupation. English Abbot Richard of Wallingford (circa 1291 - circa 1335) wrote astronomical works and designed astronomical instruments. He was also blind in one eye. Yet as he further suffered from leprosy, his blindness seems the lesser of Richard's maladies. Perhaps the most famous professionally active, blind astronomer (or almost blind astronomer) is Dominique-Francois Arago (1786-1853), director until his death of the powerful nineteenth-century Paris Observatory. I will share other _ some poignant _ examples such as: William Campbell, whose blindness drove him to suicide; Leonhard Euler, astronomy's Beethoven, who did nearly half of his life's work while almost totally blind; and Edwin Frost, who "observed” a total solar eclipse while completely sightless.

  13. Combining laser frequency combs and iodine cell calibration techniques for Doppler detection of exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cahoy, Kerri; Fischer, Debra; Spronck, Julien; DeMille, David

    2010-07-01

    Exoplanets can be detected from a time series of stellar spectra by looking for small, periodic shifts in the absorption features that are consistent with Doppler shifts caused by the presence of an exoplanet, or multiple exoplanets, in the system. While hundreds of large exoplanets have already been discovered with the Doppler technique (also called radial velocity), our goal is to improve the measurement precision so that many Earth-like planets can be detected. The smaller mass and longer period of true Earth analogues require the ability to detect a reflex velocity of ~10 cm/s over long time periods. Currently, typical astronomical spectrographs calibrate using either Iodine absorptive cells or Thorium Argon lamps and achieve ~10 m/s precision, with the most stable spectrographs pushing down to ~2 m/s. High velocity precision is currently achieved at HARPS by controlling the thermal and pressure environment of the spectrograph. These environmental controls increase the cost of the spectrograph, and it is not feasible to simply retrofit existing spectrometers. We propose a fiber-fed high precision spectrograph design that combines the existing ~5000-6000 A Iodine calibration system with a high-precision Laser Frequency Comb (LFC) system from ~6000-7000 A that just meets the redward side of the Iodine lines. The scientific motivation for such a system includes: a 1000 A span in the red is currently achievable with LFC systems, combining the two calibration methods increases the wavelength range by a factor of two, and moving redward decreases the "noise" from starspots. The proposed LFC system design employs a fiber laser, tunable serial Fabry-Perot cavity filters to match the resolution of the LFC system to that of standard astronomical spectrographs, and terminal ultrasonic vibration of the multimode fiber for a stable point spread function.

  14. Designing Echelle Spectrographs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dantzler, A.

    1987-01-01

    Performance numbers and output maps computed from inputs supplied by user. Echelle Spectrograph Design Aid program (EGRAM) aids in design of spectrographic systems that utilize echelle/first-order crossdisperser combinations. Optical combination causes two-dimensional echellogram to fall on detector. Describes echellogram with enough detail to enable user to judge effectively feasibility of spectrograph design. By iteratively altering system parameters, desired echellogram achieved without making physical model. Calculates system parameters accurately to first order and compare favorably to results from raytracing techniques. EGRAM written in two versions. FORTRAN 77, and Microsoft BASIC A.

  15. Women Astronomers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Warner, Deborah Jean

    1979-01-01

    Traces the role of women in the scientific community in the United States since the mid-nineteenth century. Specific concern is directed towards the education and career opportunities of female astronomers. (MA)

  16. Observing Resolved Stellar Populations with the JWST Near-Infrared Spectrograph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gilbert, K. M.; Beck, T. L.; Karakla, D. M.

    2016-10-01

    The James Webb Space Telescope's (JWST) Near Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec) will provide a multi-object spectroscopy (MOS) mode through the Micro-Shutter Array (MSA). Each MSA quadrant is a grid of contiguous shutters that can be configured to form slits on more than 100 astronomical targets simultaneously. The combination of JWST's sensitivity and superb resolution in the infrared and NIRSpec's full wavelength coverage over 0.6 to 5 μm will open new parameter space for studies of galaxies and resolved stellar populations alike. We describe a NIRSpec MSA observing scenario of spectroscopy of individual stars in an external galaxy, and investigate the technical challenges posed by this scenario. This use case and others, including a deep galaxy survey and observations of Galactic HII regions, are guiding development of the NIRSpec user interfaces including proposal planning and pipeline calibrations.

  17. Observations of Resolved Stellar Populations with the JWST Near Infrared Spectrograph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gilbert, Karoline; Beck, Tracy L.; Karakla, Diane M.

    2015-01-01

    The James Webb Space Telescope's (JWST) Near Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec) will provide a multi-object spectroscopy mode through the four Micro-Shutter Arrays (MSAs). Each MSA is a grid of contiguous shutters that can be configured to form slits on more than 100 astronomical targets simultaneously. The combination of JWST's sensitivity and superb resolution in the infrared and NIRSpec's full wavelength coverage over 1 to 5 micrometers will open new parameter space for studies of galaxies and resolved stellar populations alike. We present a NIRSpec MSA observing scenario for obtaining spectroscopy of individual stars in external galaxies. We examine the multiplexing capability of the MSA as a function of the possible MSA configuration design choices, and investigate the primary sources of error in velocity measurements and the prospects for minimizing them. We discuss how this and other use cases are being used to guide development of the NIRSpec user interfaces, including proposal planning and pipeline calibrations.

  18. NRES: The Network of Robotic Echelle Spectrographs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siverd, Robert; Brown, Timothy M.; Hygelund, John; Henderson, Todd; Tufts, Joseph; Eastman, Jason; Van Eyken, Julian C.; Barnes, Stuart

    2016-01-01

    Las Cumbres Observatory Global Network (LCOGT) is building the Network of Robotic Echelle Spectrographs (NRES), which will consist of six identical, optical (390 - 860 nm) high-precision spectrographs, each fiber-fed simultaneously by up to two 1-meter telescopes and a thorium argon calibration source. We plan to install one at up to 6 observatory sites in the Northern and Southern hemispheres, creating a single, globally-distributed, autonomous spectrograph facility using up to twelve 1-m telescopes. Simulations suggest we will achieve long-term radial velocity precision of 3 m/s in less than an hour for stars brighter than V = 12. We have been funded with NSF MRI and ATI grants, and expect our first spectrograph to be deployed in early 2016, with the full network operation of 5 or 6 units beginning in 2017. We will briefly overview the NRES design, goals, robotic operation, and status. In addition, we will discuss early results from our prototype spectrograph, the laboratory and on-sky performance of our first production unit, and the ongoing software development effort to bring this resource online.

  19. NRES: The Network of Robotic Echelle Spectrographs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siverd, Robert; Brown, Timothy M.; Henderson, Todd; Hygelund, John; Tufts, Joseph; Eastman, Jason; Barnes, Stuart; Van Eyken, Julian C.

    2016-06-01

    Las Cumbres Observatory Global Network (LCOGT) is building the Network of Robotic Echelle Spectrographs (NRES), which will consist of six identical, optical (390 - 860 nm) high-precision spectrographs, each fiber-fed simultaneously by up to two 1-meter telescopes and a thorium argon calibration source. We plan to install one at up to 6 observatory sites in the Northern and Southern hemispheres, creating a single, globally-distributed, autonomous spectrograph facility using up to twelve 1-m telescopes. Simulations suggest we will achieve long-term radial velocity precision of 3 m/s in less than an hour for stars brighter than V = 12. We have been funded with NSF MRI and ATI grants, and expect to deploy the first spectrograph in fall 2016, with the full network operation of 5 or 6 units beginning in 2017. We will briefly overview the NRES design, goals, robotic operation, and status. In addition, we will discuss early results from our prototype spectrograph, the laboratory and on-sky performance of our first production unit, initial science results, and the ongoing software development effort to bring this resource online.

  20. Elliptical X-ray analyzer spectrograph application to a laser-produced plasma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tanaka, Tina J.; Palmer, Merrill A.; Henke, Burton L.

    1985-08-01

    A preliminary experimental study was conducted on the application of an elliptical analyzer spectrograph to X-ray diagnostics of pulsed plasmas. This spectrograph was designed to record a range of 100-2000 eV X-rays on calibrated Kodak RAR-21497 film. Using point calibrations and theoretical models, the spectrograph efficiency was predicted. Basic spectrograph geometry and photographic calibrations are presented in companion papers. A 20 J, 6 ns duration Nd:glass laser pulse was focussed upon planar targets of gold, aluminum, teflon and boron carbide. Sample spectra for line and X-ray yields analysis are presented.

  1. Astronomical kaleidoscope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaina, Alex

    2005-10-01

    The entry contains two Moon eclipses (a picture of a total eclipse and a photo of a penumbral one), photographs of monuments of few greatest astronomers: Nikolay Kopernik, Tiho Brahe and Johannes Kepler, a photo from the JENAM-1995 (Catania, Sicily) as well as photographs of few astronomers related with Moldova and Romania: V. Grigorevskii, N. Donitch, V.Nadolschi, D. Mangeron, two nice clocks in Prague, as well as a map of the Sanctuary in Orheiul -Vechi (Bessarabia) with an supposed ancient calendar.

  2. Sky subtraction with fiber spectrographs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lissandrini, C.; Cristiani, S.; La Franca, F.

    1994-11-01

    The sky-subtraction performance of multifiber spectrographs is discussed, analyzing in detail the case of the OPTOPUS system at the 3.6-m European Space Observatory (ESO) telescope at La Silla. A standard technique, based on flat fields obtained with a uniformly illuminated screen on the dome, provides poor results. A new method has been developed, using the (O I) emission line at 5577 A as a calibrator of the fiber transmittance, taking into account the diffuse light and the influence of each fiber on the adjacent ones, and correcting for the effects of the image distortions on the sky sampling. In this way the accuracy of the sky subtraction improves from 2%-8% to 1.3%-1.6%.

  3. Immersion echelle spectrograph

    DOEpatents

    Stevens, Charles G.; Thomas, Norman L.

    2000-01-01

    A small spectrograph containing no moving components and capable of providing high resolution spectra of the mid-infrared region from 2 microns to 4 microns in wavelength. The resolving power of the spectrograph exceeds 20,000 throughout this region and at an optical throughput of about 10.sup.-5 cm.sup.2 sr. The spectrograph incorporates a silicon immersion echelle grating operating in high spectral order combined with a first order transmission grating in a cross-dispersing configuration to provide a two-dimensional (2-D) spectral format that is focused onto a two-dimensional infrared detector array. The spectrometer incorporates a common collimating and condensing lens assembly in a near aberration-free axially symmetric design. The spectrometer has wide use potential in addition to general research, such as monitoring atmospheric constituents for air quality, climate change, global warming, as well as monitoring exhaust fumes for smog sources or exhaust plumes for evidence of illicit drug manufacture.

  4. PRISM Spectrograph Optical Design

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chipman, Russell A.

    1995-01-01

    The objective of this contract is to explore optical design concepts for the PRISM spectrograph and produce a preliminary optical design. An exciting optical configuration has been developed which will allow both wavelength bands to be imaged onto the same detector array. At present the optical design is only partially complete because PRISM will require a fairly elaborate optical system to meet its specification for throughput (area*solid angle). The most complex part of the design, the spectrograph camera, is complete, providing proof of principle that a feasible design is attainable. This camera requires 3 aspheric mirrors to fit inside the 20x60 cm cross-section package. A complete design with reduced throughput (1/9th) has been prepared. The design documents the optical configuration concept. A suitable dispersing prism material, CdTe, has been identified for the prism spectrograph, after a comparison of many materials.

  5. In-flight performance of the Goddard High Resolution Spectrograph of the Hubble Space Telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Troeltzsch, J.; Ebbets, D.; Garner, H.; Tuffli, A.; Breyer, R.; Kinsey, J.; Peck, C.; Lindler, D.; Feggans, J.

    1991-09-01

    The Goddard High Resolution Spectrograph (GHRS) has completed Orbital Verification and is well into the Science Verification phase of its mission. The instrument performance has been flawless, and many significant early science observations have been completed. The GHRS digicon detectors are well calibrated including the determination of operating parameters, detector geometry, and noise sensitivity. Tests using calibration lamps and standard UV stars have confirmed the instrument sensitivity and spectral resolving powers of Lambda/Delta-Lambda = 2000, 20,000, and 90,000. The sensitivity has not changed since the 1984 baseline ground based calibration. The GHRS flight software has been thoroughly tested, and is controlling all instrument observing as expected. Basic target acquisition testing and GHRS alignment calibrations have been successfully completed, and targets are routinely being located within 2-3 arcsecs of the initial pointing. Observations have been successfully performed using both the 2.0 x 2.0 arcsec aperture, and the smaller 0.25 x 0.25 arcsec aperture. The extended point spread function caused by the spherical aberration of the HST primary mirror has been well measured, and observing methods to deal with it have been developed. The aberrated image allows approximately 70 percent of the total energy into the large science aperture, and 15 percent of the total energy into the smaller aperture. Numerous science assessment observations of interesting astronomical targets have been completed, and indicate the extreme usefulness of the GHRS to the scientific community.

  6. The calibration of photographic and spectrographic films

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hammond, E. C., Jr.

    1976-01-01

    Certain techniques and procedures are developed and evaluated for the ascertainment of the relative spectral-photometric characteristics of standard and special spectroscopic films and plates in the visible and UV regions. These films are used in ground based and rocket launched instruments. Two photographic spectral sensitometers were developed. One instrument is a vacuum sensitometer covering a range of 1,000 to 3,000 Angstroms and the other sensitometer is the device this investigator used to study its spectral responses in the visible region of the spectrum through the utilization of a computer microdensitometric and photometric plot and contour routines.

  7. User Support for the HST Spectrographs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gonnella, A. M.; Christensen, J. A.; Hulbert, S. J.

    1997-12-01

    Plans for user support of the HST spectrographs include the two archival instruments, GHRS and FOS, as well as the currently operational STIS. Support for users of STIS covers the range of proposal preparation, calibration and visits to the institute, whereas support for the archival instruments is not as broad. We describe the ways in which an observer can find support through our extensive World Wide Web resources and the Space Telescope help desk.

  8. Astronomical Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neuenschwander, D. E.; Finkenbinder, L. R.

    2004-05-01

    Just as quetzals and jaguars require specific ecological habitats to survive, so too must planets occupy a tightly constrained astronomical habitat to support life as we know it. With this theme in mind we relate the transferable features of our elementary astronomy course, "The Astronomical Basis of Life on Earth." Over the last five years, in a team-taught course that features a spring break field trip to Costa Rica, we have introduced astronomy through "astronomical ecosystems," emphasizing astronomical constraints on the prospects for life on Earth. Life requires energy, chemical elements, and long timescales, and we emphasize how cosmological, astrophysical, and geological realities, through stabilities and catastrophes, create and eliminate niches for biological life. The linkage between astronomy and biology gets immediate and personal: for example, studies in solar energy production are followed by hikes in the forest to examine the light-gathering strategies of photosynthetic organisms; a lesson on tides is conducted while standing up to our necks in one on a Pacific beach. Further linkages between astronomy and the human timescale concerns of biological diversity, cultural diversity, and environmental sustainability are natural and direct. Our experience of teaching "astronomy as habitat" strongly influences our "Astronomy 101" course in Oklahoma as well. This "inverted astrobiology" seems to transform our student's outlook, from the universe being something "out there" into something "we're in!" We thank the SNU Science Alumni support group "The Catalysts," and the SNU Quetzal Education and Research Center, San Gerardo de Dota, Costa Rica, for their support.

  9. Single Mode, Extreme Precision Doppler Spectrographs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwab, Christian; Leon-Saval, Sergio G.; Betters, Christopher H.; Bland-Hawthorn, Joss; Mahadevan, Suvrath

    2014-04-01

    The `holy grail' of exoplanet research today is the detection of an earth-like planet: a rocky planet in the habitable zone around a main-sequence star. Extremely precise Doppler spectroscopy is an indispensable tool to find and characterize earth-like planets; however, to find these planets around solar-type stars, we need nearly one order of magnitude better radial velocity (RV) precision than the best current spectrographs provide. Recent developments in astrophotonics (Bland-Hawthorn & Horton 2006, Bland-Hawthorn et al. 2010) and adaptive optics (AO) enable single mode fiber (SMF) fed, high resolution spectrographs, which can realize the next step in precision. SMF feeds have intrinsic advantages over multimode fiber or slit coupled spectrographs: The intensity distribution at the fiber exit is extremely stable, and as a result the line spread function of a well-designed spectrograph is fully decoupled from input coupling conditions, like guiding or seeing variations (Ihle et al. 2010). Modal noise, a limiting factor in current multimode fiber fed instruments (Baudrand & Walker 2001), can be eliminated by proper design, and the diffraction limited input to the spectrograph allows for very compact instrument designs, which provide excellent optomechanical stability. A SMF is the ideal interface for new, very precise wavelength calibrators, like laser frequency combs (Steinmetz et al. 2008, Osterman et al. 2012), or SMF based Fabry-Perot Etalons (Halverson et al. 2013). At near infrared wavelengths, these technologies are ready to be implemented in on-sky instruments, or already in use. We discuss a novel concept for such a spectrograph.

  10. MEGARA spectrograph optics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carrasco, E.; Sánchez-Blanco, E.; García-Vargas, M. L.; Gil de Paz, A.; Páez, G.; Gallego, J.; Sánchez, F. M.; Vílchez, J. M.

    2012-09-01

    MEGARA is the next optical Integral-Field Unit (IFU) and Multi-Object Spectrograph (MOS) for Gran Telescopio Canarias. The instrument offers two IFUs plus a Multi-Object Spectroscopy (MOS) mode: a large compact bundle covering 12.5 arcsec x 11.3 arcsec on sky with 100 μm fiber-core; a small compact bundle, of 8.5 arcsec x 6.7 arcsec with 70 μm fiber-core and a fiber MOS positioner that allows to place up to 100 mini-bundles, 7 fibers each, with 100 μm fiber-core, within a 3.5 arcmin x 3.5 arcmin field of view, around the two IFUs. The fibers, organized in bundles, end in the pseudo-slit plate, which will be placed at the entrance focal plane of the MEGARA spectrograph. The large IFU and MOS modes will provide intermediate to high spectral resolutions, R=6800-17000. The small IFU mode will provide R=8000-20000. All these resolutions are possible thanks to a spectrograph design based in the used of volume phase holographic gratings in combination with prisms to keep fixed the collimator and camera angle. The MEGARA optics is composed by a total of 53 large optical elements per spectrograph: the field lens, the collimator and the camera lenses plus the complete set of pupil elements including holograms, windows and prisms. INAOE, a partner of the GTC and a partner of MEGARA consortium, is responsible of the optics manufacturing and tests. INAOE will carry out this project working in an alliance with CIO. This paper summarizes the status of MEGARA spectrograph optics at the Preliminary Design Review, held on March 2012.

  11. An Opto-MEMS Multiobject Spectrograph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kearney, K.; Ninkov, Z.; Zwarg, D.

    2000-05-01

    Optical MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical-Structures) are an enabling technology for a new class of optical instrumentation designs. An opto-MEMS device consists of an array of microfabricated structures, each of which modulates the phase and/or amplitude of an incident light beam. Typically the devices consist of an array of moveable micromirrors - each of which reflects an incident beam in a unique direction (tilt), or with a unique phase shift (piston). One widely available opto-MEMS device is the Texas Instruments' Digital Micromirror Device (DMD). The DMD is an array of 16 micron x 16 micron square mirrors postioned on a 17 micron pitch. Each mirror can tilt +/- 10 degrees from the normal - reflecting a normally incident light beam +/- 20 degrees. By positioning the DMD in an intermediate image plane in an optical system, portions of the image can be directed into- or out-of the input pupil of the follow-on imaging optics. RIT is utilizing the DMD to construct a prototype multiobject spectrograph (RIT-MOS) for visible observations with terrestrial telescopes. The DMD array replaces the input slit of an imaging spectrograph, forming a 'virtual', programmable slit assembly. By acquiring a pre-image of the astronomical field, it is possible to select a multidude of objects, and to program the DMD to pass only those objects into the input optics of the imaging spectrograph. We will report on the design and characterizatotion of the RIT-MOS, as well as preliminary imaging results.

  12. Astronomical photometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henden, Arne A.; Kaitchuck, Ronald H.

    A handbook of astronomical photometry is presented in a format amenable to both professional and amateur use. The fundamental equipment, procedures, theory, and applications of photometry are described. Photometric systems such as the UBV, M-K, and Stromgren classification methods are explained, together with statistical treatments of photometric data. Data reduction techniques and applications in air-mass calculations, the determination of first-order extinction, and for computing zero-point values are defined. Baseline standards such as solar, universal,and sidereal time, and dating methods are provided. Instructions for constructing photometer heads are given, and the operational principles and techniques for using pulse-counting and dc electronics are explored. Finally, observational techniques and applications of photoelectric photometry are suggested and targets are indicated. A review is also offered of the theoretical basis and computational tools involved in the science of astronomical photometry.

  13. Astronomical instruments.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rai, R. N.

    Indian astronomers have devised a number of instruments and the most important of these is the armillary sphere. The earliest armillary spheres were very simple instruments. Ptolemy in his Almagest enumerates at least three. The simplest of all was the equinoctial armilla. They had also the solstitial armilla which was a double ring, erected in the plane of the meridian with a rotating inner circle. This was used to measure the solar altitude.

  14. Astronomical superhighways

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leach, D. C.

    1995-08-01

    The expansion of data supply has been prolific over the past decade. Publishers of text are only just beginning to consider what the aim of their publications should be in the light of competition from computer databases. Increasingly sources of data are becoming linked into a global network. The modem has revolutionised the way many astronomers interact with the outside world and each other. Access to data sources world wide can now be undertaken with a simple telephone call and a desktop computer.

  15. AIPY: Astronomical Interferometry in PYthon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parsons, Aaron

    2016-09-01

    AIPY collects together tools for radio astronomical interferometry. In addition to pure-python phasing, calibration, imaging, and deconvolution code, this package includes interfaces to MIRIAD (ascl:1106.007) and HEALPix (ascl:1107.018), and math/fitting routines from SciPy.

  16. Immersion echelle spectrograph

    SciTech Connect

    Stevens, C.G.; Thomas, N.L.

    2000-06-20

    A small spectrograph is disclosed containing no moving components and capable of providing high resolution spectra of the mid-infrared region from 2 microns to 4 microns in wavelength. The resolving power of the spectrograph exceeds 20,000 throughout this region and at an optical throughput of about 10{sup {minus}5}cm{sup 2}sr. The spectrograph incorporates a silicon immersion echelle grating operating in high spectral order combined with a first order transmission grating in a cross-dispersing configuration to provide a two-dimensional (2-D) spectral format that is focused onto a two-dimensional infrared detector array. The spectrometer incorporates a common collimating and condensing lens assembly in a near aberration-free axially symmetric design. The spectrometer has wide use potential in addition to general research, such as monitoring atmospheric constituents for air quality, climate change, global warming, as well as monitoring exhaust fumes for smog sources or exhaust plumes for evidence of illicit drug manufacture.

  17. Coronagraph for astronomical imaging and spectrophotometry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vilas, Faith; Smith, Bradford A.

    1987-01-01

    A coronagraph designed to minimize scattered light in astronomical observations caused by the structure of the primary mirror, secondary mirror, and secondary support structure of a Cassegrainian telescope is described. Direct (1:1) and reducing (2.7:1) imaging of astronomical fields are possible. High-quality images are produced. The coronagraph can be used with either a two-dimensional charge-coupled device or photographic film camera. The addition of transmission dispersing optics converts the coronagraph into a low-resolution spectrograph. The instrument is modular and portable for transport to different observatories.

  18. The Science of Calibration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kent, S. M.

    2016-05-01

    This paper presents a broad overview of the many issues involved in calibrating astronomical data, covering the full electromagnetic spectrum from radio waves to gamma rays, and considering both ground-based and space-based missions. These issues include the science drivers for absolute and relative calibration, the physics behind calibration and the mechanisms used to transfer it from the laboratory to an astronomical source, the need for networks of calibrated astronomical standards, and some of the challenges faced by large surveys and missions.

  19. FIASCO: A new spectrograph at the University Observatory Jena

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mugrauer, M.; Avila, G.

    2009-05-01

    A new spectrograph (FIASCO) is in operation at the 0.9 m telescope of the University Observatory Jena. This article describes the characterization of the instrument and reports its first astronomical observations, among those lithium (6708 Å) detection in the atmosphere of young stars, and the simultaneous photometric and spectroscopic monitoring of variable stars. Based on observations obtained with telescopes of the University Observatory Jena, which is operated by the Astrophysical Institute of the Friedrich-Schiller-University.

  20. V. M. Slipher and the Development of the Nebular Spectrograph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thompson, L. A.

    2013-04-01

    Vesto Melvin Slipher was the first astronomer to clearly define the factors that determine the “speed” of a nebular spectrograph. This brief historical summary recounts the way these ideas developed and how Slipher's early work on galaxy Doppler shifts was so quickly extended in the 1930s when Milton Humason and Edwin Hubble at Mt. Wilson Observatory began to push the velocity-distance relationship to such a depth that no one could doubt its cosmological significance.

  1. Astronomical near-infrared echelle gratings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hinkle, Kenneth H.; Joyce, Richard R.; Liang, Ming

    2014-07-01

    High-resolution near-infrared echelle spectrographs require coarse rulings in order to match the free spectral range to the detector size. Standard near-IR detector arrays typically are 2 K x 2 K or 4 K x 4 K. Detectors of this size combined with resolutions in the range 30000 to 100000 require grating groove spacings in the range 5 to 20 lines/mm. Moderately high blaze angles are desirable to reduce instrument size. Echelle gratings with these characteristics have potential wide application in both ambient temperature and cryogenic astronomical echelle spectrographs. We discuss optical designs for spectrographs employing immersed and reflective echelle gratings. The optical designs set constraints on grating characteristics. We report on market choices for obtaining these gratings and review our experiments with custom diamond turned rulings.

  2. THE COSMIC ORIGINS SPECTROGRAPH

    SciTech Connect

    Green, James C.; Michael Shull, J.; Snow, Theodore P.; Stocke, John; Froning, Cynthia S.; Osterman, Steve; Beland, Stephane; Burgh, Eric B.; Danforth, Charles; France, Kevin; Ebbets, Dennis; Heap, Sara H.; Leitherer, Claus; Sembach, Kenneth; Linsky, Jeffrey L.; Savage, Blair D.; Siegmund, Oswald H. W.; Spencer, John; Alan Stern, S.; Welsh, Barry; and others

    2012-01-01

    The Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS) is a moderate-resolution spectrograph with unprecedented sensitivity that was installed into the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) in 2009 May, during HST Servicing Mission 4 (STS-125). We present the design philosophy and summarize the key characteristics of the instrument that will be of interest to potential observers. For faint targets, with flux F{sub {lambda}} Almost-Equal-To 1.0 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup -14} erg cm{sup -2} s{sup -1} A{sup -1}, COS can achieve comparable signal to noise (when compared to Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph echelle modes) in 1%-2% of the observing time. This has led to a significant increase in the total data volume and data quality available to the community. For example, in the first 20 months of science operation (2009 September-2011 June) the cumulative redshift pathlength of extragalactic sight lines sampled by COS is nine times than sampled at moderate resolution in 19 previous years of Hubble observations. COS programs have observed 214 distinct lines of sight suitable for study of the intergalactic medium as of 2011 June. COS has measured, for the first time with high reliability, broad Ly{alpha} absorbers and Ne VIII in the intergalactic medium, and observed the He II reionization epoch along multiple sightlines. COS has detected the first CO emission and absorption in the UV spectra of low-mass circumstellar disks at the epoch of giant planet formation, and detected multiple ionization states of metals in extra-solar planetary atmospheres. In the coming years, COS will continue its census of intergalactic gas, probe galactic and cosmic structure, and explore physics in our solar system and Galaxy.

  3. Ultraviolet spectrograph lens

    SciTech Connect

    Brixner, B.; Winkler, M.A.

    1981-01-01

    A 700-mm f/4.7 spectrograph camera lens was designed for imaging spectral lines in the 200 to 400-nm region on a 120-mm flat image field. Lens elements of fused silica and crystalline calcium fluoride have so little secondary spectrum that raytracing calculations predict a monochromatic resolution limit of 30 lines/mm without refocusing in the 238- to 365-nm region. Light scattering at the polished calcium-fluoride surfaces is avoided by sandwiching the fluoride elements between fused silica and cementing with silicone fluid. The constructed lens makes good spectrograms.

  4. Ultraviolet-spectrograph lens

    SciTech Connect

    Brixner, B.; Winkler, M.A.

    1981-01-01

    A 700-mm f/4.7 spectrograph camera lens was designed for imaging spectral lines in the 200- to 400-nm region on a 120-mm flat image field. Lens elements of fused silica and crystal calcium fluoride give such good achromatization that raytracing calculations predict a resolution limit of 30 lines/mm without refocusing in the 238- to 365-nm region. Light scattering at the polished calcium-fluoride surfaces is avoided by sandwiching the fluoride elements between fused silica and cementing with silicone fluid. The constructed lens makes good spectrograms.

  5. The Faulkes Telescope Optical Spectrographs and Swift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Brien, Paul

    The Faulkes Telescope project funded primarily by the Dill Faulkes Educational Trust is currently constructing two 2-m robotic telescopes to be located in Hawaii and Australia. These will be the largest and most powerful telescopes ever built dedicated for use by schools and colleges. We have been awarded funding to build two optical spectrographs to be permanently mounted on these telescopes by the end of 2003. At this time an astronomical satellite called Swift will be launched by NASA. Swift is dedicated to the study of gamma-ray bursts the most powerful explosive events in the Universe. The Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Leicester has provided the X-ray camera for Swift and is a partner in the Faulkes Telescopes project. To enhance both projects we intend to use the Faulkes Telescope optical spectrographs to study the gamma-ray bursts identified by Swift. These data will also be made available to schools thereby raising the profile of physics and astronomy in the educational community.

  6. Spectrographic imaging system

    DOEpatents

    Morris, Michael D.; Treado, Patrick J.

    1991-01-01

    An imaging system for providing spectrographically resolved images. The system incorporates a one-dimensional spatial encoding mask which enables an image to be projected onto a two-dimensional image detector after spectral dispersion of the image. The dimension of the image which is lost due to spectral dispersion on the two-dimensional detector is recovered through employing a reverse transform based on presenting a multiplicity of different spatial encoding patterns to the image. The system is especially adapted for detecting Raman scattering of monochromatic light transmitted through or reflected from physical samples. Preferably, spatial encoding is achieved through the use of Hadamard mask which selectively transmits or blocks portions of the image from the sample being evaluated.

  7. The Cosmic Origins Spectrograph

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Green, James C.; Froning, Cynthia S.; Osterman, Steve; Ebbets, Dennis; Heap, Sara H.; Leitherer, Claus; Linsky, Jeffrey L.; Savage, Blair D.; Sembach, Kenneth; Shull, J. Michael; Siegmund, Oswald H. W.; Snow, Theodore P.; Spencer, John; Stern, S. Alan; Stocke, John; Welsh, Barry; Beland, Stephane; Burgh, Eric B.; Danforth, Charles; France, Kevin; Keeney, Brian; McPhate, Jason; Penton, Steven V; Andrews, John; Morse, Jon

    2010-01-01

    The Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS) is a moderate-resolution spectrograph with unprecedented sensitivity that was installed into the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) in May 2009, during HST Servicing Mission 4 (STS-125). We present the design philosophy and summarize the key characteristics of the instrument that will be of interest to potential observers. For faint targets, with flux F(sub lambda) approximates 1.0 X 10(exp -14) ergs/s/cm2/Angstrom, COS can achieve comparable signal to noise (when compared to STIS echelle modes) in 1-2% of the observing time. This has led to a significant increase in the total data volume and data quality available to the community. For example, in the first 20 months of science operation (September 2009 - June 2011) the cumulative redshift pathlength of extragalactic sight lines sampled by COS is 9 times that sampled at moderate resolution in 19 previous years of Hubble observations. COS programs have observed 214 distinct lines of sight suitable for study of the intergalactic medium as of June 2011. COS has measured, for the first time with high reliability, broad Lya absorbers and Ne VIII in the intergalactic medium, and observed the HeII reionization epoch along multiple sightlines. COS has detected the first CO emission and absorption in the UV spectra of low-mass circumstellar disks at the epoch of giant planet formation, and detected multiple ionization states of metals in extra-solar planetary atmospheres. In the coming years, COS will continue its census of intergalactic gas, probe galactic and cosmic structure, and explore physics in our solar system and Galaxy.

  8. Interferometric resolution boosting for spectrographs

    SciTech Connect

    Erskine, D J; Edelstein, J

    2004-05-25

    Externally dispersed interferometry (EDI) is a technique for enhancing the performance of spectrographs for wide bandwidth high resolution spectroscopy and Doppler radial velocimetry. By placing a small angle-independent interferometer near the slit of a spectrograph, periodic fiducials are embedded on the recorded spectrum. The multiplication of the stellar spectrum times the sinusoidal fiducial net creates a moir{acute e} pattern, which manifests high detailed spectral information heterodyned down to detectably low spatial frequencies. The latter can more accurately survive the blurring, distortions and CCD Nyquist limitations of the spectrograph. Hence lower resolution spectrographs can be used to perform high resolution spectroscopy and radial velocimetry. Previous demonstrations of {approx}2.5x resolution boost used an interferometer having a single fixed delay. We report new data indicating {approx}6x Gaussian resolution boost (140,000 from a spectrograph with 25,000 native resolving power), taken by using multiple exposures at widely different interferometer delays.

  9. Compact low resolution spectrograph, an imaging and long slit spectrograph for robotic telescopes

    SciTech Connect

    Rabaza, O.; Zeman, J.; Hudec, R.; Sabau-Graziati, L.

    2013-11-15

    The COmpact LOw REsolution Spectrograph (COLORES) is a compact and lightweight (13 kg) f/8 imaging spectrograph designed for robotic telescopes, now installed and operating on the TELMA, a rapid-slewing 60 cm telescope of the BOOTES-2 observatory in Málaga (Spain). COLORES is a multi-mode instrument that enables the observer to seamlessly switch between low-dispersion spectroscopy and direct imaging modes during an observation. In this paper, we describe the instrument and its development, from the initial scientific requirements through the optical design process to final configuration with theoretical performance calculations. The mechanical and electronic design is described, methods of calibration are discussed and early laboratory and scientific results are shown.

  10. Compact low resolution spectrograph, an imaging and long slit spectrograph for robotic telescopes.

    PubMed

    Rabaza, O; Jelinek, M; Castro-Tirado, A J; Cunniffe, R; Zeman, J; Hudec, R; Sabau-Graziati, L; Ruedas-Sánchez, J

    2013-11-01

    The COmpact LOw REsolution Spectrograph (COLORES) is a compact and lightweight (13 kg) f/8 imaging spectrograph designed for robotic telescopes, now installed and operating on the TELMA, a rapid-slewing 60 cm telescope of the BOOTES-2 observatory in Málaga (Spain). COLORES is a multi-mode instrument that enables the observer to seamlessly switch between low-dispersion spectroscopy and direct imaging modes during an observation. In this paper, we describe the instrument and its development, from the initial scientific requirements through the optical design process to final configuration with theoretical performance calculations. The mechanical and electronic design is described, methods of calibration are discussed and early laboratory and scientific results are shown.

  11. Compact low resolution spectrograph, an imaging and long slit spectrograph for robotic telescopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rabaza, O.; Jelinek, M.; Castro-Tirado, A. J.; Cunniffe, R.; Zeman, J.; Hudec, R.; Sabau-Graziati, L.; Ruedas-Sánchez, J.

    2013-11-01

    The COmpact LOw REsolution Spectrograph (COLORES) is a compact and lightweight (13 kg) f/8 imaging spectrograph designed for robotic telescopes, now installed and operating on the TELMA, a rapid-slewing 60 cm telescope of the BOOTES-2 observatory in Málaga (Spain). COLORES is a multi-mode instrument that enables the observer to seamlessly switch between low-dispersion spectroscopy and direct imaging modes during an observation. In this paper, we describe the instrument and its development, from the initial scientific requirements through the optical design process to final configuration with theoretical performance calculations. The mechanical and electronic design is described, methods of calibration are discussed and early laboratory and scientific results are shown.

  12. Current and Future Capabilities of the 74-inch Telescope of Kottamia Astronomical Observatory in Egypt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Azzam, Y. A.; Ali, G. B.; Ismail, H. A.; Haroon, A.; Selim, I.

    In this paper, we are going to introduce the Kottamia Astronomical Observatory, KAO, to the astronomical community. The current status of the telescope together with the available instrumentations is described. An upgrade stage including a new optical system and a computer controlling of both the telescope and dome are achieved. The specifications of a set of CCD cameras for direct imaging and spectroscopy are given. A grating spectrograph is recently gifted to KAO from Okayama Astrophysical Observatory, OAO, of the National Astronomical Observatories in Japan. This spectrograph is successfully tested and installed at the F/18 Cassegrain focus of the KAO 74" telescope.

  13. The BigBOSS spectrograph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jelinsky, Patrick; Bebek, Chris; Besuner, Robert; Carton, Pierre-Henri; Edelstein, Jerry; Lampton, Michael; Levi, Michael E.; Poppett, Claire; Prieto, Eric; Schlegel, David; Sholl, Michael

    2012-09-01

    BigBOSS is a proposed ground-based dark energy experiment to study baryon acoustic oscillations (BAO) and the growth of structure with a 14,000 square degree galaxy and quasi-stellar object redshift survey. It consists of a 5,000- fiber-positioner focal plane feeding the spectrographs. The optical fibers are separated into ten 500 fiber slit heads at the entrance of ten identical spectrographs in a thermally insulated room. Each of the ten spectrographs has a spectral resolution (λ/Δλ) between 1500 and 4000 over a wavelength range from 360 - 980 nm. Each spectrograph uses two dichroic beam splitters to separate the spectrograph into three arms. It uses volume phase holographic (VPH) gratings for high efficiency and compactness. Each arm uses a 4096x4096 15 μm pixel charge coupled device (CCD) for the detector. We describe the requirements and current design of the BigBOSS spectrograph. Design trades (e.g. refractive versus reflective) and manufacturability are also discussed.

  14. Design and Capabilities of the AAT/HERMES Spectrograph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Silva, G. M.; Heijmans, J.; Gers, L.; Zucker, D.; Aao Hermes Team

    2012-08-01

    The High Efficiency and Resolution Multi-Element spectrograph (HERMES) currently under construction at the Australian Astronomical Observatory will be the next major instrument for the Anglo-Australian Telescope. It will provide a unique and powerful new facility for multi-object spectroscopy. HERMES uses the 2dF fibre positioning system to provide up to 392 multiplex capability over a 2 degree field of view. The spectrograph design includes 4 wavelength channels, each with VPH-gratings providing a nominal spectral resolving power of 28,000 and a high-resolution mode of 50,000. The initial wavelength channels are tailored for determining a large range of chemical elements suitable for chemical tagging, but allow for grating upgrades reconfigurable between 370 - 1000 nm. An overview of the project and expected performance based on the HERMES simulated data is presented.

  15. LOTUS: a low-cost, ultraviolet spectrograph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steele, I. A.; Marchant, J. M.; Jermak, H. E.; Barnsley, R. M.; Bates, S. D.; Clay, N. R.; Fitzsimmons, A.; Jehin, E.; Jones, G.; Mottram, C. J.; Smith, R. J.; Snodgrass, C.; de Val-Borro, M.

    2016-08-01

    We describe the design, construction and commissioning of a simple, low-cost long-slit spectrograph for the Liverpool Telescope. The design is optimized for near-UV and visible wavelengths and uses all transmitting optics. It exploits the instrument focal plane field curvature to partially correct axial chromatic aberration. A stepped slit provides narrow (2.5 × 95 arcsec) and wide (5 × 25 arcsec) options that are optimized for spectral resolution and flux calibration, respectively. On sky testing shows a wavelength range of 3200-6300 Å with a peak system throughput (including detector quantum efficiency) of 15 per cent and wavelength dependent spectral resolution of R = 225-430. By repeated observations of the symbiotic emission line star AG Peg, we demonstrate the wavelength stability of the system is <2 Å rms and is limited by the positioning of the object in the slit. The spectrograph is now in routine operation monitoring the activity of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko during its current post-perihelion apparition.

  16. Radioastronomy at the National Astronomical Observatory of Colombia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guevara Gómez, J. C.; Calvo-Mozo, B.; Martinez Oliveros, J. C.

    2015-12-01

    Colombia is located in the northern tip of South America close to the amazon rain forest. This makes astronomical observations in the visible range very challenging, as cloud coverage is relatively high. Hence, radio astronomy becomes a natural and good choice. We present the design, characterization and first results of the Observatorio Astronomico Nacional solar radio spectrograph. This instrument is a Log-Periodic Dipole Array Antenna (LPDA) working between 100 MHz and 1 GHz optimized for solar observations. The radio spectrograph is a working prototype for a more ambitious solar radio interferometer, that will be the first instrument of this kind in Colombia.

  17. Moderate-resolution holographic spectrograph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muslimov, E. R.; Pavlycheva, N. K.; Valyavin, G. G.; Fabrika, S. N.

    2016-07-01

    We present a new scheme of a moderate-resolution spectrograph based on a cascade of serial holographic gratings each of which produces an individual spectrum with a resolution of about 6000 and a bandwidth of 80 nm. The gratings ensure centering of each part of the spectrum they produce so as to provide uniform coverage of the broadest possible wavelength interval. In this study we manage to simultaneously cover the 430-680 nm interval without gaps using three gratings. Efficiency of the spectrograph optical system itself from the entrance slit to the CCD detector is typically of about 60% with a maximum of 75%. We discuss the advantages and drawbacks of the new spectrograph scheme as well as the astrophysical tasks for which the instrument can be used.

  18. MMT and Magellan infrared spectrograph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McLeod, Brian A.; Fabricant, Daniel; Geary, John; Martini, Paul; Nystrom, George; Elston, Richard; Eikenberry, Stephen S.; Epps, Harland

    2004-09-01

    We present the preliminary design for the MMT and Magellan Infrared Spectrograph (MMIRS). MMIRS is a fully refractive imager and multi-object spectrograph that uses a 2048x2048 pixel Hawaii2 HgCdTe array. It offers a 7'x7' imaging field of view and a 4'x7' field of view for multi-object spectroscopy. Dispersion is provided by a set of 5 grisms providing R=3000 at J, H, or K, or R=1300 in J+H or H+K.

  19. X-ray spectrograph design

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chrisp, M. P.

    1983-01-01

    An aberration theory is applied to spectrograph design. The initial system considered has a toroidal mirror in front of a concave grating spectrograph, giving spatial resolution perpendicular to the dispersion direction. The accuracy of the theory is shown by comparison of spot diagrams obtained from the aberrations with those produced by raytracing. The major aberrations affecting the vignetting at the intermediate slit and the spatial resolution are identified. A new system, using a holographic grating to give a flat focal plane, is then designed and optimized. It has increased spatial resolution over the wavelength range and is particularly suitable for microchannel array detectors.

  20. Holographic spectrograph for space telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ditto, Thomas D.; Lysenko, Sergiy; Crenshaw, Melissa

    2013-09-01

    A spectrograph is described which is made with dual Holographic Optical Elements (HOEs) which are identical and parallel to each other. Both optics are collimating transmission HOEs with focal points that are at equal and opposite distances from each other. The identical HOEs are formed by the interference of a plane wave parallel to the grating plane with an off-axis spherical wave originating in the near-field. In playback, a spectrum can be formed from a point source radiator placed at the position of the recording spherical wave. If played back at an arbitrary wavelength other than the recording wavelength, the image exhibits coma. This spectrograph is intended for an unusual configuration where many nearly monochromatic sources of known wavelengths are separately positioned relative to the first HOE. The special application is in a space telescope capable of resolving spectra from habitable planets within 10 pc. HOEs of this type could be fabricated on membrane substrates with a low areal mass and stowable on rolls for insertion into the second Lagrange point. The intended application is for a 50 x 10 meter class primary objective holographic space telescope with 50 x 10 m HOEs in the spectrograph. We present a computer model of the spectrograph.. Experimental results are compared with predictions from theory. A single HOE is shown to perform over a wider bandwidth and is demonstrated.

  1. Radiometric performance results of the Juno ultraviolet spectrograph (Juno-UVS)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davis, Michael W.; Gladstone, G. Randall; Greathouse, Thomas K.; Slater, David C.; Versteeg, Maarten H.; Persson, Kristian B.; Winters, Gregory S.; Persyn, Steven C.; Eterno, John S.

    2011-09-01

    We describe the radiometric performance and ground calibration results of the Juno mission's Ultraviolet Spectrograph (Juno-UVS) flight model. Juno-UVS is a modest power (9.0 W) ultraviolet spectrograph based on the Alice instruments now in flight aboard the European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft, and the LAMP instrument aboard NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. Its primary job will be to characterize Jupiter's UV auroral emissions and relate them to in situ particle measurements.

  2. Texas echelon cross echelle spectrograph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lacy, John H.; Richter, Matthew J.; Yu, Wanglong; Basso, Bianca S.

    1998-08-01

    A new mid-IR spectrograph, the Texas Echelon Cross Echelle Spectrograph (TEXES) is under construction. The primary motivation for TEXES is to observe interstellar molecules at very high resolution. TEXES will operate at 7-25 micrometers wavelength with three spectrographic modes: a high resolution cross-dispersed mode, with R approximately equals 100,000, a mid-resolution long-slit mode, with R approximately equals 14,000, and a low resolution long-slit mode, with R approximately equals 2000. In hi-res mode, the primary disperser is a 36 inch long, R10 grating with a 7 mm groove spacing. The echelon is cross-dispersed with a 7 in long R2 echelle. In mid-res mode, the echelon is by-passed with an Offner relay, and the echelle is used by itself. In lo-res mode, a first-order grating is inserted over the echelle. For initial test, TEXES will use a Hughes Aircraft 20 X 64 pixel Si:As impurity-band array, which covers only two echelon orders. It will later be replaced with a 256 X 256 pixel array, which will Nyquist sample approximately 10 orders. The spectrograph has been assembled and tested with a partially complete echelon, demonstrating the soundness of the design. When we began this project, we were unable to find a vendor capable of machining or ruling a diffraction grating with the very coarse ruling required. Consequently, we attempted to hand-fabricate the echelon. We have not succeeded in assembling the echelon with the required precision, missing by about a factor of two. Fortunately, Hyperfine, Inc. is now capable of diamond machining the echelon. We are purchasing a machined echelon, and hope to complete the spectrograph by the end of summer 1998.

  3. Optical Comb from a Whispering Gallery Mode Resonator for Spectroscopy and Astronomy Instruments Calibration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Strekalov, Dmitry V.; Yu, Nam; Thompson, Robert J.

    2012-01-01

    The most accurate astronomical data is available from space-based observations that are not impeded by the Earth's atmosphere. Such measurements may require spectral samples taken as long as decades apart, with the 1 cm/s velocity precision integrated over a broad wavelength range. This raises the requirements specifically for instruments used in astrophysics research missions -- their stringent wavelength resolution and accuracy must be maintained over years and possibly decades. Therefore, a stable and broadband optical calibration technique compatible with spaceflights becomes essential. The space-based spectroscopic instruments need to be calibrated in situ, which puts forth specific requirements to the calibration sources, mainly concerned with their mass, power consumption, and reliability. A high-precision, high-resolution reference wavelength comb source for astronomical and astrophysics spectroscopic observations has been developed that is deployable in space. The optical comb will be used for wavelength calibrations of spectrographs and will enable Doppler measurements to better than 10 cm/s precision, one hundred times better than the current state-of-the- art.

  4. Mapping the local galactic halo and an image motion compensation system for the multi-object double spectrograph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marshall, Jennifer L.

    In the first part of this dissertation I describe the results of a photometric and spectroscopic survey of a sample of cool, metal-poor subdwarfs in the solar neighborhood. These metal-poor stars are of interest because, as members of the Galactic halo, they give clues about the history of the Galaxy and its formation mechanisms, and may enable us to study satellites of the Milky Way and the Galactic merger history. A sample of halo subdwarfs have been selected using a reduced proper motion (RPM) diagram. Accurate and precise photometric measurements of 635 stars selected in this manner allow better definition of the RPM diagram and determination of its usefulness as a selection method. Accurate spectrophotometry yields radial velocities of the candidates as well as metallicity and temperature estimates for 288 subdwarfs. Of special interest in this sample are the ten newly discovered extremely metal-poor stars, as well as four carbon-enhanced metal-poor stars. I use these new observations to search the local Galactic halo for structure due to merger remnants and moving groups; there is some evidence for both. I also discuss the metallicity distribution function of the sample and compare it to previous work on this subject. No astronomical observations of any sort are possible without appropriate, well-calibrated instrumentation with which to perform the measurements. In the second part of this dissertation, I describe the Image Motion Compensation System (IMCS) for the Multi-Object Double Spectrograph (MODS), an optical spectrograph for the Large Binocular Telescope. The system performs closed-loop image motion compensation, actively correcting for image motion in the spectrograph's focal plane caused by large scale structural bending due to gravity as well as other effects such as temperature fluctuation and mechanism flexure within the instrument. The system is currently installed in the MODS instrument and controls instrumental flexure to within specifications

  5. The Astronomical Telescope of New York: a new 12-meter astronomical telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sebring, T.; Junquist, R.; Stutzki, C.; Sebring, P.; Baum, S.

    2012-09-01

    The Astronomical Corporation of New York has commissioned a study of a 12-meter class telescope to be developed by a group of NY universities. The telescope concept builds on the basic principles established by the Keck telescopes; segmented primary mirror, Ritchey Chretien Nasmyth instrument layout, and light weight structures. New, lightweight, and low cost approaches are proposed for the primary mirror architecture, dome structure and mechanisms, telescope mount approach, and adaptive optics. Work on the design is supported by several NY based corporations and universities. The design offers a substantially larger aperture than any existing Visible/IR wavelength telescope at historically low cost. The concept employs an adaptive secondary mirror and laser guide star adaptive optics. Two First Light instruments are proposed; A High resolution near infrared spectrograph and a near infrared Integral field spectrograph/imager.

  6. Armenian Astronomical Heritage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mickaelian, A. M.

    2014-10-01

    A review is given on the Armenian Astronomical Heritage from ancient times to nowadays. Armenian ancient astronomy includes the division of the skies into constellations, rock art, ancient Armenian calendar, ancient observatories (such as Metsamor and Karahunge), records of astronomical events (such as Halley's Comet recorded on Tigranes the Great's coin), ancient names of celestial bodies (planets, stars, constellations), etc. The Medieval Armenian astronomy includes two more calendars, Anania Shirakatsi's scientific heritage, the record of 1054 Supernova, sky maps by Luca Vanandetsi and Mkhitar Sebastatsi, etc. Modern Armenian astronomical heritage first of all consists of the famous Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory founded in 1946 by Viktor Ambartsumian, as well as Yerevan Astronomical Observatory, Armenian Astronomical Society, Armenian Virtual Observatory, Yerevan State University Department of Astrophysics, Astrofizika journal, and brilliant young students who systematically win high positions at International Astronomical Olympiads.

  7. Galactic Archeology - Requirements on Survey Spectrographs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feltzing, S.

    2016-10-01

    Galactic Archeology is about exploring the Milky Way as a galaxy by, mainly, using its (old) stars as tracers of past events and thus to figure out the formation and evolution of our Galaxy. I will briefly outline some of the key scientific aspects of Galactic Archeology and then discuss the associated instrumentation. Gaia will forever change the way we approach this subject. However, Gaia on its own is not enough. Ground-based complementary spectroscopy is necessary to obtain full phase-space information and elemental abundances for stars fainter than the top few percent of the bright part of the Gaia catalog. I will review the requirement on instrumentation for Gaia follow-up that Galactic Archeology sets. In particular, I will discuss the requirements on radial velocity and elemental abundance determination, including a brief look at potential pitfalls in the abundance analysis (e.g., NLTE, atomic diffusion). This contribution also provides a non-exhaustive comparison of the various current and future spectrographs for Galactic Archeology. Finally, I will discuss the needs for astrophysical calibrations for the surveys and inter-survey calibrations.

  8. The AAO's Gemini High-Resolution Optical SpecTrograph (GHOST) concept

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ireland, Michael J.; Barnes, Stuart; Cochrane, David; Colless, Matthew; Connor, Peter; Horton, Anthony; Gibson, Steve; Lawrence, Jon; Martell, Sarah; McGregor, Peter; Nicolle, Tom; Nield, Kathryn; Orr, David; Robertson, J. G.; Ryder, Stuart; Sheinis, Andrew; Smith, Greg; Staszak, Nick; Tims, Julia; Xavier, Pascal; Young, Peter; Zheng, Jessica

    2012-09-01

    The Gemini High-Resolution Optical SpecTrograph (GHOST) will fill an important gap in the current suite of Gemini instruments. We will describe the Australian Astronomical Observatory (AAO)-led concept for GHOST, which consists of a multi-object, compact, high-efficiency, fixed-format, fiber-fed design. The spectrograph itself is a four-arm variant of the asymmetric white-pupil echelle Kiwispec spectrograph, Kiwisped, produced by Industrial Research Ltd. This spectrograph has an R4 grating and a 100mm pupil, and separate cross-disperser and camera optics for each of the four arms, carefully optimized for their respective wavelength ranges. We feed this spectrograph with a miniature lensletbased IFU that sub-samples the seeing disk of a single object into 7 hexagonal sub-images, reformatting this into a slit with a second set of double microlenses at the spectrograph entrance with relatively little loss due to focal-ratio degradation. This reformatting enables high spectral resolution from a compact design that fits well within the relatively tight GHOST budget. We will describe our baseline 2-object R~50,000 design with full wavelength coverage from the ultraviolet to the silicon cutoff, as well as the high-resolution single-object R~75,000 mode.

  9. The development of WIFIS: a wide integral field infrared spectrograph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sivanandam, Suresh; Chou, Richard C. Y.; Moon, Dae-Sik; Ma, Ke; Millar-Blanchaer, Maxwell; Eikenberry, Stephen S.; Chun, Moo-Young; Kim, Sang Chul; Raines, Steven N.; Eisner, Joshua

    2012-09-01

    We present the current results from the development of a wide integral field infrared spectrograph (WIFIS). WIFIS offers an unprecedented combination of etendue and spectral resolving power for seeing-limited, integral field observations in the 0.9 - 1.8 μm range and is most sensitive in the 0.9 - 1.35 μ,m range. Its optical design consists of front-end re-imaging optics, an all-reflective image slicer-type, integral field unit (IFU) called FISICA, and a long-slit grating spectrograph back-end that is coupled with a HAWAII 2RG focal plane array. The full wavelength range is achieved by selecting between two different gratings. By virtue of its re-imaging optics, the spectrograph is quite versatile and can be used at multiple telescopes. The size of its field-of-view is unrivalled by other similar spectrographs, offering a 4.511x 1211 integral field at a 10-meter class telescope (or 2011 x 5011 at a 2.3-meter telescope). The use of WIFIS will be crucial in astronomical problems which require wide-field, two-dimensional spectroscopy such as the study of merging galaxies at moderate redshift and nearby star/planet-forming regions and supernova remnants. We discuss the final optical design of WIFIS, and its predicted on-sky performance on two reference telescope platforms: the 2.3-m Steward Bok telescope and the 10.4-m Gran Telescopio Canarias. We also present the results from our laboratory characterization of FISICA. IFU properties such as magnification, field-mapping, and slit width along the entire slit length were measured by our tests. The construction and testing of WIFIS is expected to be completed by early 2013. We plan to commission the instrument at the 2.3-m Steward Bok telescope at Kitt Peak, USA in Spring 2013.

  10. KIDSpec: an MKID based medium resolution integral field spectrograph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Brien, Kieran; Thatte, Niranjan; Mazin, Benjamin

    2014-07-01

    We present a novel concept for a highly sensitive, medium spectral resolution optical through near-IR spectrograph. KIDSpec, the Kinetic Inductance Detector Spectrograph, uses the intrinsic energy resolving capability of an array of optical/IR-sensitive MKIDs to distinguish multiple orders from a low line-density (echelle) grating. MKID arrays have a wide bandpass (0.1-2.5um) and good quantum efficiency, making them strong candidates for replacing CCDs in many astronomical instruments. By acting as an `order resolver', the MKID array replaces the cross-disperser in an echelle spectrograph. This greatly simplifies the optical layout of the spectrograph and enables longer slits than are possible with cross-dispersed instruments. KIDSpec would have similar capabilities to ESO's X-shooter instrument. It would provide an R=4000-10,000 spectrum covering the entire optical and near-IR spectral range. In addition to a `long-slit' mode, the IFU would provide a small (~50 spaxel) field-of-view for spatially resolved sources. In addition, the photon-counting operation of MKIDs and their photon-energy resolving ability enable a read-noise free spectrum with perfect cosmic ray removal. The spectral resolution would be sufficient to remove the bright night-sky lines without the additional pixel noise, making the instrument more sensitive than an equivalent semiconductor-based instrument. KIDSpec would enhance many existing high-profile science cases, including transient (GRB, SNe, etc.) follow-up, redshift determination of faint objects and transit spectroscopy of exoplanets. In addition it will enable unique science cases, such as dynamical mass estimates of the compact objects in ultra-compact binaries.

  11. Calibration beads containing luminescent lanthanide ion complexes

    EPA Science Inventory

    The reliability of lanthanide luminescence measurements, by both flow cytometry and digital microscopy, will be enhanced by the availability of narrow-band emitting lanthanide calibration beads. These beads can also be used to characterize spectrographic instruments, including mi...

  12. EGRAM- ECHELLE SPECTROGRAPH DESIGN AID

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dantzler, A. A.

    1994-01-01

    EGRAM aids in the design of spectrographic systems that utilize an echelle-first order cross disperser combination. This optical combination causes a two dimensional echellogram to fall on a detector. EGRAM describes the echellogram with enough detail to allow the user to effectively judge the feasibility of the spectrograph's design. By iteratively altering system parameters, the desired echellogram can be achieved without making a physical model. EGRAM calculates system parameters which are accurate to the first order and compare favorably to results from ray tracing techniques. The spectrographic system modelled by EGRAM consists of an entrance aperture, collimator, echelle, cross dispersion grating, focusing options, and a detector. The system is assumed to be free of aberrations and the echelle, cross disperser, and detector should be planar. The EGRAM program is menu driven and has a HELP facility. The user is prompted for information such as minimum and maximum wavelengths, slit dimensions, ruling frequencies, detector geometry, and angle of incidence. EGRAM calculates the resolving power and range of order numbers covered by the echellogram. A numerical map is also produced. This tabulates the order number, slit bandpass, and high/middle/low wavelengths. EGRAM can also compute the centroid coordinates of a specific wavelength and order (or vice versa). EGRAM is written for interactive execution and is written in Microsoft BASIC A. It has been implemented on an IBM PC series computer operating under DOS. EGRAM was developed in 1985.

  13. Astronomical Software Directory Service

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hanisch, R. J.; Payne, H.; Hayes, J.

    1998-01-01

    This is the final report on the development of the Astronomical Software Directory Service (ASDS), a distributable, searchable, WWW-based database of software packages and their related documentation. ASDS provides integrated access to 56 astronomical software packages, with more than 16,000 URL's indexed for full-text searching.

  14. Astronomers Working in Industry.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bless, Robert C.; King, Ivan R.

    1981-01-01

    Four scientists, trained as astronomers, describe their astronomical training and present careers in non-astronomy, industrial jobs. They recount some of the differences, positive and negative, between industrial and academic employment, and comment on some of the attitudes they perceive academic and industrial scientists hold toward each other.…

  15. Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Center

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

    Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Center is the largest astronomical institution in Poland, located in Warsaw and founded in 1956. At present it is a government-funded research institute supervised by the Polish Academy of Sciences and licensed by the government of Poland to award PhD and doctor habilitatus degrees in astronomy and astrophysics. In September 1999 staff included 21 senior scientist...

  16. A New Expression for Astronomical Refraction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yan, Haojian

    1996-09-01

    In this paper, new sophisticated computing formulas for astronomical refraction have been developed based on the generator function method of atmospheric refractive integrals proposed by Yan & Ping (1995, AJ, 110, 934). The accuracies of the expressions have been numerically improved about one order of magnitude in comparison with those commonly used. A significant advantage of using a calibrated continued fraction mapping function for the astronomical refraction correction is to extend the coverage of the formulas to rather lower elevation observations with high accuracy. The corrections related to the finite distances of objects have been considered in detail. We have briefly analyzed the influences of the errors of atmospheric profile and of the deviation of atmospheric parameters. in order to match different requirements in astrometry and geodesy, we have considered the corrections at both radio and optical frequencies, respectively. The dispersion of signals at optical frequencies plays a primary role in astronomical refraction computation.

  17. The Astronomers' Data Manifesto

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Norris, R. P.

    2006-08-01

    A draft manifesto is presented for discussion. The manifesto sets out guidelines to which the astronomical community should aspire to maximise the rate and cost-effectiveness of scientific discovery. The challenges are not underestimated, but can still be overcome if astronomers, observatories, journals, data centres, and the Virtual Observatory Alliance work together to overcome the hurdles. The key points of the manifesto are: 1. All major tables, images, and spectra published in journals should appear in the astronomical data centres. 2. All data obtained with publicly-funded observatories should, after appropriate proprietary periods, be placed in the public domain. 3. In any new major astronomical construction project, the data processing, storage, migration, and management requirements should be built in at an early stage of the project plan, and costed along with other parts of the project. 4. Astronomers in all countries should have the same access to astronomical data and information. 5. Legacy astronomical data can be valuable, and high-priority legacy data should be preserved and stored in digital form in the data centres. 6. The IAU should work with other international organisations to achieve our common goals and learn from our colleagues in other fields.

  18. Odessa Astronomical Calendar-2003

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karetnikov, V. G.; Mihalchuk, V. V.; Bazey, A. A.; Andronov, I. L.; Volyanskaya, M. Yu.; Garbuzov, G. A.; Komarov, N. S.; Koshkin, N. I.; Pozigun, V. A.; Ryabov, M. I.

    2002-10-01

    The Odessa Astronomical Calendar is intended for a wide range of readers, who are interested in the problems of astronomy and in the applications of the astronomical data. The items, of information, assembled in the Calendar may be useful to professional workers requiring a definition of time of sets and rises of the Sun and the Moon and approach of twilights, as well as to the amateurs astronomers and other citizens. The Calendar may be used for astronomical education at schools, hymnasia, lycea, colleges and institutes. In this issue of the Calendar, besides a description of the main astronomical events of the year and the tables of the positions of celestial bodies and time of observations of astronomical events on the celestial sphere, there are also included sketches on interesting problems of astronomy and, as the appendix, the instruction on observations of comets. The Odessa Astronomical Calendar is published in Russian and is intended for the inhabitants of southern region of Ukraine. The Calendar is published every year with a constant part and series of articles, which change every year.

  19. Astronomical Video Suites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Francisco Salgado, Jose

    2010-01-01

    Astronomer and visual artist Jose Francisco Salgado has directed two astronomical video suites to accompany live performances of classical music works. The suites feature awe-inspiring images, historical illustrations, and visualizations produced by NASA, ESA, and the Adler Planetarium. By the end of 2009, his video suites Gustav Holst's The Planets and Astronomical Pictures at an Exhibition will have been presented more than 40 times in over 10 countries. Lately Salgado, an avid photographer, has been experimenting with high dynamic range imaging, time-lapse, infrared, and fisheye photography, as well as with stereoscopic photography and video to enhance his multimedia works.

  20. America's foremost early astronomer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rubincam, David Parry; Rubincam, Milton, II

    1995-05-01

    The life of 18th century astronomer, craftsman, and patriot David Rittenhouse is detailed. As a craftsman, he distinguished himself as one of the foremost builders of clocks. He also built magnetic compasses and surveying instruments. The finest examples of his craftsmanship are considered two orreries, mechanical solar systems. In terms of astronomical observations, his best-known contribution was his observation of the transit of Venus in 1769. Rittenhouse constructed the first diffraction grating. Working as Treasurer of Pennsylvania throughout the Revolution, he became the first director of the Mint in 1792. Astronomical observations in later life included charting the position of Uranus after its discovery.

  1. The Lifetimes of Astronomers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abt, Helmut A.

    2015-08-01

    For members of the American Astronomical Society, I collected data on their lifetimes from (1) 489 obituaries published in 1991-2015, (2) about 127 members listed as deceased but without published obituaries, and (3) a sample of AAS members without obituaries or not known to the AAS as being deceased. These show that the most frequent lifetimes is 85 years. Of 674 deceased members with known lifetimes, 11.0 ± 1.3% lived to be 90 or more years. In comparison to the astronomers, the most frequent lifetime for the general population is 77 years, showing that astronomers live an average of 8 years longer than the general population.

  2. Lunar orbital photography of astronomical phenomena.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mercer, R. D.; Dunkelman, L.; Ross, C. L.; Worden, A.

    1972-01-01

    This paper reports further progress on photography of faint astronomical and geophysical phenomena accomplished during the recent Apollo missions. Command module pilots have been able to photograph such astronomical objects as the solar corona, zodiacal light-corona transition region, lunar libration region, and portions of the Milky Way. The methods utilized for calibration of the film by adaptation of the High Altitude Observatory sensitometer are discussed. Kodak 2485 high-speed recording film was used in both 35-mm and 70-mm formats. The cameras used were Nikon f/1.2 55-mm focal length and Hasselblad f/2.8 80-mm focal length. Preflight and postflight calibration exposures were included on both the flight and control films, corresponding to luminances extending from the inner solar corona to as faint as 1/10 of the luminance of the light of the night sky. The photographs obtained from unique vantage points available during lunar orbit are discussed.

  3. An astronomical murder?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belenkiy, Ari

    2010-04-01

    Ari Belenkiy examines the murder of Hypatia of Alexandria, wondering whether problems with astronomical observations and the date of Easter led to her becoming a casualty of fifth-century political intrigue.

  4. The Cosmic Origins Spectrograph: NUV Imaging Performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goudfrooij, Paul; Burgh, E.; Aloisi, A.; Keyes, C.; Sahnow, D.; Penton, S.; STScI COS Team; COS IDT Team

    2010-01-01

    The Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS) includes an NUV imaging mode, which is selected by means of the optical elements MIRRORA or MIRRORB. While the greatest use of this imaging capability is expected to be for target acquisition, science exposures may be obtained as well. COS NUV imaging (with MIRRORA) has specific advantages over other NUV imaging options available on HST, which renders it especially powerful for the purpose of spatially resolving faint, compact, and/or time-variable targets. It features the best spatial sampling available for any imaging mode on HST within its field of view of about 2 arcsec in radius, a much lower dark current rate than the NUV-MAMA detector aboard STIS, and no read noise or charge transfer inefficiency which hamper CCD observations of faint targets in the NUV. This paper reports on the on-orbit calibration of the COS NUV imaging modes, concentrating on accurate measurements of the point spread function, imaging quality, plate scale, photometric zeropoints, and throughput as functions of (a) measurement aperture size and (b) target location within the COS aperture.

  5. Multi-Object Spectroscopy with the James Webb Space Telescope’s Near Infrared Spectrograph: Observing Resolved Stellar Populations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gilbert, Karoline; Karakla, Diane M.; Beck, Tracy

    2015-08-01

    The James Webb Space Telescope’s (JWST) Near Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec) will provide a multi-object spectroscopy mode through the four Micro-Shutter Arrays (MSAs). Each MSA is a grid of contiguous shutters that can be configured to form slits on more than 100 astronomical targets simultaneously. The combination of JWST’s sensitivity and superb resolution in the infrared and NIRSpec’s full wavelength coverage from 0.6 to 5 μm will open new parameter space for studies of galaxies and resolved stellar populations alike. We describe a NIRSpec MSA observing scenario for obtaining spectroscopy of individual stars in an external galaxy, and investigate the technical challenges posed by this scenario. We examine the multiplexing capability of the MSA as a function of the possible MSA configuration design choices, and investigate the primary sources of error in velocity measurements and the prospects for minimizing them. We give examples of how this and other use cases are guiding development of the NIRSpec user interfaces, including proposal planning and pipeline calibrations.

  6. The upgraded WIYN bench spectrograph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knezek, Patricia M.; Bershady, Matthew A.; Willmarth, Daryl; Glaspey, John; Poczulp, Gary; Blanco, Dan; Britanik, Lana; McDougall, Eugene; Corson, Charles; Liang, Ming; Keyes, Joe; Jacoby, George

    2010-07-01

    We present the as-built design overview and post-installation performance of the upgraded WIYN Bench Spectrograph. This Bench is currently fed by either of the general-use multi-fiber instruments at the WIYN 3.5m telescope on Kitt Peak, the Hydra multi-object positioner, and the SparsePak integral field unit (IFU). It is very versatile, and can be configured to accommodate low-order, echelle, and volume phase holographic gratings. The overarching goal of the upgrade was to increase the average spectrograph throughput by ~60% while minimizing resolution loss (< 20%). In order to accomplish these goals, the project has had three major thrusts: (1) a new CCD was provided with a nearly constant 30% increase is throughput over 320-1000 nm; (2) two Volume Phase Holographic (VPH) gratings were delivered; and (3) installed a new all-refractive collimator that properly matches the output fiber irradiance (EE90) and optimizes pupil placement. Initial analysis of commissioning data indicates that the total throughput of the system has increased 50-70% using the 600 l/mm surface ruled grating, indicating that the upgrade has achieved its goal. Furthermore, it has been demonstrated that overall image resolution meets the requirement of <20% loss.

  7. A dual-channel, focusing x-ray spectrograph with uniform dispersion for Z pinch plasmas measurement

    SciTech Connect

    Yang Qingguo; Li Zeren; Chen Guanhua; Ye Yan; Huang Xianbin; Cai Hongchun; Li Jing; Xiao Shali

    2012-01-15

    A dual-channel, focusing x-ray spectrograph with uniform dispersion (i.e., the linear dispersion of this spectrograph is a constant) is described for measuring the x-ray spectra emission from the hot, dense Al Z pinch plasmas. The spectrograph uses double uniform-dispersed crystals (e.g., a Quartz 1010 crystal and a Mica 002 crystal) as dispersion elements and a double-film box as detector to achieve the simultaneous recording of the time integrated spectrum covering a wide spectral range of {approx}5-9 A. Since this spectrograph disperse the x-rays on the detector plane with uniform spacing for every wavelength, it needs not the calibration of the wavelength with spatial coordinate, thereby own the advantages of easiness and veracity for spectra identification. The design of this spectrograph and the example of experiment on the ''Yang'' accelerator are presented.

  8. Integral field spectroscopy with the Gemini Near-Infrared Spectrograph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allington-Smith, Jeremy R.; Dubbeldam, Cornelis M.; Content, Robert; Dunlop, Colin J.; Robertson, David J.; Elias, Jay; Rodgers, Bernadette; Turner, James E.

    2004-09-01

    The Astronomical Instrumentation Group (AIG) of the University of Durham has recently completed an integral field unit (IFU) for use on the Gemini-South telescope with the Gemini Near-Infrared Spectrograph (GNIRS) built by the National Optical Astronomy Observatories (NOAO, USA). When the IFU is deployed remotely inside the instrument cryostat, GNIRS is converted into an integral field spectrograph with a field of 5 × 3 arcsec2 and spatial sampling of 0.15 × 0.15 arcsec2, optimised for 1-2.5μm but operable up to 5μm. We present summaries of the design and construction and results from laboratory testing. We also show results obtained at the telescope where a throughput of 90% was measured at 2.5μm, and show that this is consistent with predictions of a simple model where surface scattering is the dominant loss mechanism. The throughput data are well fit by the roughness measured in the laboratory. Finally, we show a few examples of astrophysical data from the commissioning run in April 2004.

  9. Modelling the application of integrated photonic spectrographs to astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harris, R. J.; Allington-Smith, J. R.

    2012-09-01

    One of the well-known problems of producing instruments for Extremely Large Telescopes is that their size (and hence cost) scales rapidly with telescope aperture. To try to break this relation alternative new technologies have been proposed, such as the use of the Integrated Photonic Spectrograph (IPS). Due to their diraction limited nature the IPS is claimed to defeat the harsh scaling law applying to conventional instruments. The problem with astronomical applications is that unlike conventional photonics, they are not usually fed by diraction limited sources. This means in order to retain throughput and spatial information the IPS will require multiple Arrayed Waveguide Gratings (AWGs) and a photonic lantern. We investigate the implications of these extra components on the size of the instrument. We also investigate the potential size advantage of using an IPS as opposed to conventional monolithic optics. To do this, we have constructed toy models of IPS and conventional image sliced spectrographs to calculate the relative instrument sizes and their requirements in terms of numbers of detector pixels. Using these models we can quantify the relative size/cost advantage for dierent types of instrument, by varying dierent parameters e.g. multiplex gain and spectral resolution. This is accompanied by an assessment of the uncertainties in these predictions, which may prove crucial for the planning of future instrumentation for highly-multiplexed spectroscopy.

  10. CUBES: cassegrain U-band Brazil-ESO spectrograph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barbuy, B.; Bawden Macanhan, V.; Bristow, P.; Castilho, B.; Dekker, H.; Delabre, B.; Diaz, M.; Gneiding, C.; Kerber, F.; Kuntschner, H.; La Mura, G.; Maciel, W.; Meléndez, J.; Pasquini, L.; Pereira, C. B.; Petitjean, P.; Reiss, R.; Siqueira-Mello, C.; Smiljanic, R.; Vernet, J.

    2014-11-01

    CUBES is a high-efficiency, medium-resolution ( R˜20,000) ground based UV (300-400 nm) spectrograph, to be installed in the cassegrain focus of one of ESO's VLT unit telescopes in 2017/18. The CUBES project is a joint venture between ESO and IAG/USP, and LNA/MCTI. CUBES will provide access to a wealth of new and relevant information for stellar as well as extragalactic sources. Main science cases include the study of beryllium and heavy elements in metal-poor stars, the direct determination of carbon, nitrogen and oxygen abundances by study of molecular bands in the UV range, as well as the study of active galactic nuclei and the quasar absorption lines. With a streamlined modern instrument design, high efficiency dispersing elements and UV-sensitive detectors, it will give a significant gain in sensitivity over existing ground based medium-high resolution spectrographs, enabling vastly increased sample sizes accessible to the astronomical community. We present here a brief overview of the project including the status, science cases and a discussion of the design options.

  11. Women Astronomers: Australia: Women astronomers in Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhathal, Ragbir

    2001-08-01

    Ragbir Bhathal summarizes the role played by women astronomers in Australia's astronomy, now and in the past. Australia has a great tradition in astronomy, from the early observations of Aboriginal people through the colonial drive to explore and understand, culminating in the established excellence of research there today. Women have contributed to this achievement in no small way, yet their contribution has been unremarked, if not ignored. Here I summarize the historical and present state of affairs and look forward to a brighter and more equitable future.

  12. A near-infrared spectrograph for the Discovery Channel Telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roe, H. G.; Dunham, E. W.; Bida, T. A.; Hall, J. C.; Degroff, W.

    2011-10-01

    Lowell Observatory is constructing the Discovery Channel Telescope (DCT) at Happy Jack, Arizona, approximately an hour from Lowell's main campus in Flagstaff, Arizona. The DCT is a 4.3-m optical/ infrared telescope. Construction of the telescope is complete and First Light of the DCT is planned for 2012Q2. In its initial configuration instruments will be co-mounted on a rotatable/selectable cube at the Cassegrain focus. Motorized deployable fold mirrors enable rapid switching amongst instruments. In the future the Nasmyth foci will be available for larger instruments as well. The first generation of instruments on DCT include: the Large Monolithic Imager (LMI), the Near-Infrared High-Throughput Spectrograph (NIHTS, pronounced "nights"), and the DeVeny optical spectrograph. The LMI contains a single large 6.1x6.1 K detector with a 12.5 arcmin2 FOV. NIHTS is a low resolution efficient near-infrared spectrograph and is the subject of this presentation. The DeVeny is Lowell's existing optical spectrograph with resolutions available between 500 and 4000. NIHTS is a low-resolution high-throughput infrared spectrograph covering 0.9-2.4 μm in a single fixed spectral setting at a resolution of »100. For simplicity and replicability NIHTS contains no moving parts. The science detector is a 10242 HAWAII-1 array. The fixed slit plate features an 80" long slit with several different slit widths (2,3,4 and 12 pixels) available along its length. The widest slit width is designed to allow accurate flux calibration, while the 3 and 4-pixel slits are closely matched to typical seeing at the DCT site (0.86" mean). Different resolutions will be rapidly selectable by dithering the telescope, and a typical observation is anticipated to involve a sequence of dithers both at the desired resolution and at SED resolution for calibration purposes. Offset guiding and wavefront sensing to control the active optics of the primary mirror are provided by the facility via deployable probes in

  13. Field Raman spectrograph for environmental analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Haas, J.W. III; Forney, R.W.; Carrabba, M.M.

    1995-10-01

    This project entails the development of a compact raman spectrograph for field screening and monitoring of a wide variety of wastes, pollutants, and corrosion products in tanks, and environmental materials. The design of a fiber optic probe for use with the spectrograph is also discussed.

  14. Ultraviolet-visible spectrograph optics: ODIN project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Powell, Ian; Bewsher, Amanda

    1995-10-01

    We describe one of the possible designs for the UV-visible spectrograph optics to be employed in the ODIN project. The spectrograph will be used in a future satellite mission for aeronomy observations and will image a column of atmosphere just above the Earth's surface onto a two-dimensional CCD array with the spatial and spectral content aligned orthogonal to one another.

  15. High-resolving mass spectrographs and spectrometers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wollnik, Hermann

    2015-11-01

    Discussed are different types of high resolving mass spectrographs and spectrometers. In detail outlined are (1) magnetic and electric sector field mass spectrographs, which are the oldest systems, (2) Penning Trap mass spectrographs and spectrometers, which have achieved very high mass-resolving powers, but are technically demanding (3) time-of-flight mass spectrographs using high energy ions passing through accelerator rings, which have also achieved very high mass-resolving powers and are equally technically demanding, (4) linear time-of-flight mass spectrographs, which have become the most versatile mass analyzers for low energy ions, while the even higher performing multi-pass systems have only started to be used, (5) orbitraps, which also have achieved remarkably high mass-resolving powers for low energy ions.

  16. NRAO Astronomer Honored by American Astronomical Society

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2011-01-01

    Dr. Scott Ransom, an astronomer at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), received the American Astronomical Society's (AAS) Helen B. Warner Prize on January 11, at the society's meeting in Seattle, Washington. The prize is awarded annually for "a significant contribution to observational or theoretical astronomy during the five years preceding the award." Presented by AAS President Debra Elmegreen, the prize recognized Ransom "for his astrophysical insight and innovative technical leadership enabling the discovery of exotic, millisecond and young pulsars and their application for tests of fundamental physics." "Scott has made landmark contributions to our understanding of pulsars and to using them as elegant tools for investigating important areas of fundamental physics. We are very proud that his scientific colleagues have recognized his efforts with this prize," said NRAO Director Fred K.Y. Lo. A staff astronomer at the NRAO since 2004, Ransom has led efforts using the National Science Foundation's Green Bank Telescope and other facilities to study pulsars and use them to make advances in areas of frontier astrophysics such as gravitational waves and particle physics. In 2010, he was on a team that discovered the most massive pulsar yet known, a finding that had implications for the composition of pulsars and details of nuclear physics, gravitational waves, and gamma-ray bursts. Ransom also is a leader in efforts to find and analyze rapidly-rotating millisecond pulsars to make the first direct detection of the gravitational waves predicted by Albert Einstein. In other work, he has advanced observational capabilities for finding millisecond pulsars in globular clusters of stars and investigated how millisecond pulsars are formed. A graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY, Ransom served as an artillery officer in the U.S. Army. After leaving the Army, he earned a Ph.D. at Harvard University in 2001, and was a postdoctoral fellow

  17. Updated Status and Performance of the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolfe, Michael A.; Dixon, W. V.; Mason, E.; Proffitt, C.; Aloisi, A.; Oliveira, C.; Bohlin, R. C.; Osten, R.; Bostroem, K. A.; Zheng, W.; Pascucci, I.; Niemi, S.; York, B.; Sonnentracker, P.; Diaz, R.; Ely, J. C.

    2011-05-01

    A description is provided of the overall performance of the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph after Cycle 17 and through the first half of Cycle 18. Most aspects of performance are still found to be consistent with extrapolations of the trends seen during Cycle 17 calibrations. Many of the characteristics of the instrument have changed over time, and we present here an update on its current performance based on the latest Cycle 18 calibration observations. We discuss changes in the CCD and MAMA dark currents, provide updates on the sensitivity of STIS modes, echelle blaze function, discuss changes, if any, in number of hot pixels, flat fields, charge transfer inefficiency, read noise, and spurious charge.

  18. Bayesian fusion of hyperspectral astronomical images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jalobeanu, André; Petremand, Matthieu; Collet, Christophe

    2011-03-01

    The new integral-field spectrograph MUSE will acquire hyperspectral images of the deep sky, requiring huge amounts of raw data to be processed, posing a challenge to modern algorithms and technologies. In order to achieve the required sensitivity to observe very faint objects, many observations need to be reconstructed and co-added into a single data cube. In this paper, we propose a new fusion method to combine all raw observations while removing most of the instrumental and observational artifacts such as blur or cosmic rays. Thus, the results can be accurately and consistently analyzed by astronomers. We use a Bayesian framework allowing for optimal data fusion and uncertainty estimation. The knowledge of the instrument allows to write the direct problem (data acquisition on the detector matrix) and then to invert it through Bayesian inference, assuming a smoothness prior for the data cube to be reconstructed. Compared to existing methods, the originality of the new technique is in the propagation of errors throughout the fusion pipeline and the ability to deal with various acquisition parameters for each input image. For this paper, we focus on small-size, simulated astronomical observations with varying parameters to validate the image formation model, the reconstruction algorithm and the predicted uncertainties.

  19. Korean Astronomical Calendar, Chiljeongsan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Eun Hee

    In fifteenth century Korea, there was a grand project for the astronomical calendar and instrument making by the order of King Sejong 世宗 (1418-1450). During this period, many astronomical and calendrical books including Islamic sources in Chinese versions were imported from Ming 明 China, and corrected and researched by the court astronomers of Joseon 朝鮮 (1392-1910). Moreover, the astronomers and technicians of Korea frequently visited China to study astronomy and instrument making, and they brought back useful information in the form of new published books or specifications of instruments. As a result, a royal observatory equipped with 15 types of instrument was completed in 1438. Two types of calendar, Chiljeongsan Naepyeon 七政算內篇 and Chiljeongsan Oepyeon 七政算外篇, based on the Chinese and Islamic calendar systems, respectively, were published in 1444 with a number of calendrical editions such as corrections and example supplements (假令) including calculation methods and results for solar and lunar eclipses.

  20. Ancient Chinese Astronomical Technologies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walsh, Jennifer Robin

    2004-05-01

    I am interested in the astronomical advances of the Ancient Chinese in measuring the solar day. Their development of gnomon & ruler, sundial, and water clock apparatuses enabled Chinese astronomers to measure the annual solar orbit and solar day more precisely than their contemporaries. I have built one of each of these devices to use in collecting data from Olympia, Washington. I will measure the solar day in the Pacific Northwest following the methodology of the ancient Chinese. I will compare with my data, the available historical Chinese astronomical records and current records from the United States Naval Observatory Master Clock. I seek to understand how ancient Chinese investigations into solar patterns enabled them to make accurate predictions about the movement of the celestial sphere and planets, and to develop analytic tests of their theories. Mayall, R. Newton; Sundials: their construction and use. Dover Publications 2000 North, John; The Norton History of Astronomy and Cosmology W.W. Norton& Co. 1995 Zhentao Xu, David W. Pankenier, Yaotiao Jiang; East Asian archaeoastronomy : historical records of astronomical observations of China, Japan and Korea Published on behalf of the Earth Space Institute by Gordon and Breach Science Publishers, c2000

  1. Astronomical Microdensitometry Conference

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Klinglesmith, D. A. (Editor)

    1984-01-01

    The status of the current microdensitometers used for digitizing astronomical imagery is discussed. The tests and improvements that have and can be made to the Photometric Data System PDS microdensitometer are examined. The various types of microdensitometers that currently exist in the world are investigated. Papers are presented on the future needs and the data processing problems associated with digitizing large images.

  2. ASURV: Astronomical SURVival Statistics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feigelson, E. D.; Nelson, P. I.; Isobe, T.; LaValley, M.

    2014-06-01

    ASURV (Astronomical SURVival Statistics) provides astronomy survival analysis for right- and left-censored data including the maximum-likelihood Kaplan-Meier estimator and several univariate two-sample tests, bivariate correlation measures, and linear regressions. ASURV is written in FORTRAN 77, and is stand-alone and does not call any specialized libraries.

  3. Zelenchukskaya Radio Astronomical Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smolentsev, Sergey; Dyakov, Andrei

    2013-01-01

    This report summarizes information about Zelenchukskaya Radio Astronomical Observatory activities in 2012. Last year a number of changes took place in the observatory to improve some technical characteristics and to upgrade some units to the required status. The report provides an overview of current geodetic VLBI activities and gives an outlook for the future.

  4. Svetloe Radio Astronomical Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smolentsev, Sergey; Rahimov, Ismail

    2013-01-01

    This report summarizes information about the Svetloe Radio Astronomical Observatory activities in 2012. Last year, a number of changes took place in the observatory to improve some technical characteristics and to upgrade some units to their required status. The report provides an overview of current geodetic VLBI activities and gives an outlook for the future.

  5. Misconceptions of Astronomical Distances

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Brian W.; Brewer, William F.

    2010-01-01

    Previous empirical studies using multiple-choice procedures have suggested that there are misconceptions about the scale of astronomical distances. The present study provides a quantitative estimate of the nature of this misconception among US university students by asking them, in an open-ended response format, to make estimates of the distances…

  6. Astronomical education in Mongolia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dulmaa, A.; Tsolmon, R.; Lkhagvajav, Ch.; Jargalsuren, Sh.; Bayartungalag, B.; Zaya, M.

    2011-06-01

    The history, current situation, education and future directions of modern Mongolian space science and astronomy is reviewed. This paper discusses recent efforts to develop astronomy education and research capacity in Mongolia with cooperation of the International Astronomical Union. Various capacity-building initiatives in space science including remote sensing in Mongolia are discussed.

  7. The League of Astronomers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomas, Nancy H.; Brandel, A.; Paat, A. M.; Schmitz, D.; Sharma, R.; Trujillo, J.; Laws, C. S.

    2014-01-01

    The League of Astronomers is committed to engaging the University of Washington (UW) and the greater Seattle communities through outreach, research, and events. Since its re-founding two years ago, the LOA has provided a clear connection between the UW Astronomy Department, undergraduate students, and members of the public. Weekly outreach activities such as public star parties and planetarium talks in both the UW Planetarium and the Mobile Planetarium have connected enthusiastic LOA volunteers with hundreds of public observers. In addition, collaboration with organizations like the Seattle Astronomical Society and the UW Society of Physics Students has allowed the LOA to reach an even greater audience. The club also provides opportunities for undergraduate students to participate in research projects. The UW Student Radio Telescope (SRT) and the Manastash Ridge Observatory (MRO) both allow students to practice collecting their own data and turning it into a completed project. Students have presented many of these research projects at venues like the UW Undergraduate Research Symposium and meetings of the American Astronomical Society. For example, the LOA will be observing newly discovered globular clusters at the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory (DAO) in Victoria, B.C. and constructing color-magnitude diagrams. The LOA also helps engage students with the Astronomy major through a variety of events. Bimonthly seminars led by graduate students on their research and personal experiences in the field showcase the variety of options available for students in astronomy. Social events hosted by the club encourage peer mentoring and a sense of community among the Astronomy Department’s undergraduate and graduate students. As a part of one of the nation’s largest undergraduate astronomy programs, members of the League of Astronomers have a unique opportunity to connect and interact with not only the Seattle public but also the greater astronomical community.

  8. The Schmidt-Czerny-Turner spectrograph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McClure, Jason P.

    2014-09-01

    Since the invention of the CCD detector in 1969 by George Smith and Willard Boyle, incremental innovations to the dispersive imaging spectrograph have slowly materialized in response the abounding advances in CCD detector technology. The modern Czerny-Turner type spectrograph, arguably the most commonly used instrument in optical spectroscopy, fails to uphold the ever increasing needs today's researchers demand, let alone tomorrow's. This paper discusses an innovative solution to the Czerny-Turner imaging spectrograph bridging a more than 20 year gap in development and understanding. A manifold of techniques in optical spectroscopy both advantaged and enabled by this innovation are expounded upon.

  9. On the stability of Cassegrain spectrographs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walker, D. D.; D'Arrigo, P.

    1996-07-01

    Gravity-induced flexure has been a long-standing challenge in Cassegrain spectrographs at 4-m class telescopes; it is more so on the scale of 8-m telescopes. This is of particular concern for the Gemini High Resolution Optical Spectrograph, which will be Cassegrain-mounted for its routine mode of operation. In this paper we address the general flexure problem and make specific recommendations. In a companion paper we present results on experimental compensation for flexure in a specific Cassegrain spectrograph - ISIS on the 4.2-m William Herschel Telescope (WHT).

  10. Astronomical Data in Undergraduate courses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clarkson, William I.; Swift, Carrie; Hughes, Kelli; Burke, Christopher J. F.; Burgess, Colin C.; Elrod, Aunna V.; Howard, Brittany; Stahl, Lucas; Matzke, David; Bord, Donald J.

    2016-06-01

    We present status and plans for our ongoing efforts to develop data analysis and problem-solving skills through Undergraduate Astronomy instruction. While our initiatives were developed with UM-Dearborn’s student body primarily in mind, they should be applicable for a wide range of institution and of student demographics. We focus here on two strands of our effort.Firstly, students in our Introductory Astronomy (ASTR 130) general-education course now perform several “Data Investigations”, in which they interrogate the Hubble Legacy Archive to illustrate important course concepts. This was motivated in part by the realization that typical public data archives now include tools to interrogate the observations that are sufficiently accessible that introductory astronomy students can use them to perform real science, albeit mostly at a descriptive level. We are continuing to refine these investigations, and, most importantly, to critically assess their effectiveness in terms of the student learning outcomes we wish to achieve. This work is supported by grant HST-EO-13758, provided by NASA through a grant from the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555.Secondly, at the advanced-undergraduate level, students taking courses in our Astronomy minor are encouraged to gain early experience in techniques of astronomical observation and analysis that are used by professionals. We present two example projects from the Fall 2015 iteration of our upper-division course ASTR330 (The Cosmic Distance Ladder), one involving Solar System measurements, the second producing calibrated aperture photometry. For both projects students conducted, analysed, and interpreted observations using our 0.4m campus telescope, and used many of the same analysis tools as professional astronomers. This work is supported partly from a Research Initiation and Seed grant from the

  11. The On-Orbit Performance of the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kimble, R. A.; Woodgate, B. E.; Bowers, C. W.; Kraemer, S. B.; Kaiser, M. E.; Gull, T. R.; Heap, S. R.; Danks, A. C.; Boggess, A.; Green, R. F.; Hutchings, J. B.; Jenkins, E. B.; Joseph, C. L.; Linsky, J. L.; Maran, S. P.; Moos, H. W.; Roesler, F.; Timothy, J. G.; Weistrop, D. E.; Grady, J. F.; Loiacono, J. J.; Brown, L. W.; Brumfield, M. D.; Content, D. A.; Feinberg, L. D.; Isaacs, M. N.; Krebs, C. A.; Krueger, V. L.; Melcher, R. W.; Rebar, F. J.; Vitagliano, H. D.; Yagelowich, J. J.; Meyer, W. W.; Hood, D. F.; Argabright, V. S.; Becker, S. I.; Bottema, M.; Breyer, R. R.; Bybee, R. L.; Christon, P. R.; Delamere, A. W.; Dorn, D. A.; Downey, S.; Driggers, P. A.; Ebbets, D. C.; Gallegos, J. S.; Garner, H.; Hetlinger, J. C.; Lettieri, R. L.; Ludtke, C. W.; Michika, D.; Nyquist, R.; Rose, D. M.; Stocker, R. B.; Sullivan, J. F.; Van Houten, C. N.; Woodruff, R. A.; Baum, S. A.; Hartig, G. F.; Balzano, V.; Biagetti, C.; Blades, J. C.; Bohlin, R. C.; Clampin, M.; Doxsey, R.; Ferguson, H. C.; Goudfrooij, P.; Hulbert, S. J.; Kutina, R.; McGrath, M.; Lindler, D. J.; Beck, T. L.; Feggans, J. K.; Plait, P. C.; Sandoval, J. L.; Hill, R. S.; Collins, N. R.; Cornett, R. H.; Fowler, W. B.; Hill, R. J.; Landsman, W. B.; Malumuth, E. M.; Standley, C.; Blouke, M.; Grusczak, A.; Reed, R.; Robinson, R. D.; Valenti, J. A.; Wolfe, T.

    1998-01-01

    The Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) was successfully installed into the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) in 1997 February, during the second HST servicing mission, STS-82. STIS is a versatile spectrograph, covering the 115-1000 nm wavelength range in a variety of spectroscopic and imaging modes that take advantage of the angular resolution, unobstructed wavelength coverage, and dark sky offered by the HST. In the months since launch, a number of performance tests and calibrations have been carried out and are continuing. These tests demonstrate that the instrument is performing very well. We present here a synopsis of the results to date.

  12. NIR Camera/spectrograph: TEQUILA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruiz, E.; Sohn, E.; Cruz-Gonzalez, I.; Salas, L.; Parraga, A.; Torres, R.; Perez, M.; Cobos, F.; Tejada, C.; Iriarte, A.

    1998-11-01

    We describe the configuration and operation modes of the IR camera/spectrograph called TEQUILA, based on a 1024X1024 HgCdTe FPA (HAWAII). The optical system will allow three possible modes of operation: direct imaging, low and medium resolution spectroscopy and polarimetry. The basic system is being designed to consist of the following: 1) A LN$_2$ dewar that allocates the FPA together with the preamplifiers and a 24 filter position cylinder. 2) Control and readout electronics based on DSP modules linked to a workstation through fiber optics. 3) An optomechanical assembly cooled to -30oC that provides an efficient operation of the instrument in its various modes. 4) A control module for the moving parts of the instrument. The opto-mechanical assembly will have the necessary provisions to install a scanning Fabry-Perot interferometer and an adaptive optics correction system. The final image acquisition and control of the whole instrument is carried out in a workstation to provide the observer with a friendly environment. The system will operate at the 2.1 m telescope at the Observatorio Astronomico Nacional in San Pedro Martir, B.C. (Mexico), and is intended to be a first-light instrument for the new 7.8 m Mexican Infrared-Optical Telescope (TIM).

  13. High School Teachers as Astronomers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sather, Robert

    1977-01-01

    Discusses a joint research program between several high school teachers and solar system astronomers in which data were collected on photoelectric observations of asteroids and minor planets via astronomical telescopes. (MLH)

  14. Thomas Kuhn's Influence on Astronomers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shipman, Harry L.

    2000-01-01

    Surveys the astronomical community on their familiarity with the work of Thomas Kuhn. Finds that for some astronomers, Kuhn's thought resonated well with their picture of how science is done and provided perspectives on their scientific careers. (Author/CCM)

  15. Comparison of STIS and SNAP spectrograph throughputs

    SciTech Connect

    Aldering, Greg

    2002-06-30

    This is a comparison of the measured throughput of STIS on HST versus what we might expect from the spectrograph on SNAP. The principle reference is Woodgate et al. (1998) PASP, 110, 1183. Additional material was taken from the STIS Handbook, available on-line at www.stsci.edu. The goal is to demonstrate that there are sound reasons to expect better performance for a SNAP spectrograph (even one with a grating) than would be expected by scaling from HST+STIS.

  16. Misconceptions about astronomical magnitudes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schulman, Eric; Cox, Caroline V.

    1997-10-01

    The present system of astronomical magnitudes was created as an inverse scale by Claudius Ptolemy in about 140 A.D. and was defined to be logarithmic in 1856 by Norman Pogson, who believed that human eyes respond logarithmically to the intensity of light. Although scientists have known for some time that the response is instead a power law, astronomers continue to use the Pogson magnitude scale. The peculiarities of this system make it easy for students to develop numerous misconceptions about how and why to use magnitudes. We present a useful exercise in the use of magnitudes to derive a cosmologically interesting quantity (the mass-to-light ratio for spiral galaxies), with potential pitfalls pointed out and explained.

  17. Astronomers without borders

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simmons, Mike

    2011-06-01

    ``Astronomers Without Borders'' is a new global organisational dedicated to furthering understanding and goodwill across national and cultural boundaries using the universal appeal of astronomy and space science. A growing network of affiliate organisations brings together clubs, magazines and other organizations involved in astronomy and space science. Forums, galleries, video conferences and other interactive technologies are used to connect participants around the world. Sharing of resources and direct connections through travel programs are also planned. One project, ``The World at Night'' (TWAN), has become an Special Project of IYA2009. TWAN creates wide-angle images of the night sky in important natural and historic settings around the world, dramatically demonstrating the universal nature and appeal of the night sky. ``Astronomers Without Borders'' is also a leader of the 100 Hours of Astronomy IYA2009 Global Cornerstone Project.

  18. Astronomers as Software Developers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pildis, Rachel A.

    2016-01-01

    Astronomers know that their research requires writing, adapting, and documenting computer software. Furthermore, they often have to learn new computer languages and figure out how existing programs work without much documentation or guidance and with extreme time pressure. These are all skills that can lead to a software development job, but recruiters and employers probably won't know that. I will discuss all the highly useful experience that astronomers may not know that they already have, and how to explain that knowledge to others when looking for non-academic software positions. I will also talk about some of the pitfalls I have run into while interviewing for jobs and working as a developer, and encourage you to embrace the curiosity employers might have about your non-standard background.

  19. Microcomputers and astronomical navigation.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robin-Jouan, Y.

    1996-04-01

    Experienced navigators remember ancient astronomical navigation and its limitations. Using microcomputers in small packages and selecting up-to-date efficient methods will overcome many of these limitations. Both features lead to focus on observations, and encourage an increase in their numbers. With no intention of competing with satellite navigation, sextant navigation in the open sea can then be accessed again by anybody. It can be considered for demonstrative use or as a complement to the GPS.

  20. Astrobiology: An astronomer's perspective

    SciTech Connect

    Bergin, Edwin A.

    2014-12-08

    In this review we explore aspects of the field of astrobiology from an astronomical viewpoint. We therefore focus on the origin of life in the context of planetary formation, with additional emphasis on tracing the most abundant volatile elements, C, H, O, and N that are used by life on Earth. We first explore the history of life on our planet and outline the current state of our knowledge regarding the delivery of the C, H, O, N elements to the Earth. We then discuss how astronomers track the gaseous and solid molecular carriers of these volatiles throughout the process of star and planet formation. It is now clear that the early stages of star formation fosters the creation of water and simple organic molecules with enrichments of heavy isotopes. These molecules are found as ice coatings on the solid materials that represent microscopic beginnings of terrestrial worlds. Based on the meteoritic and cometary record, the process of planet formation, and the local environment, lead to additional increases in organic complexity. The astronomical connections towards this stage are only now being directly made. Although the exact details are uncertain, it is likely that the birth process of star and planets likely leads to terrestrial worlds being born with abundant water and organics on the surface.

  1. The JWST Calibration Pipeline

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Christine; Muzerolle, James; Dixon, William Van Dyke; Izela Diaz, Rosa; Bushouse, Howard A.

    2015-01-01

    The James Webb Space Telescope will launch in 2018 and carry four science instruments that will observe the sky at 0.7 - 29 micron: the Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam), the Near Infrared Imager and Slitless Spectrograph (NIRISS), the Near Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec), and the Mid Infrared Instrument (MIRI). The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) is currently building a data reduction pipeline that will provide not only basic calibrated data but also higher level science products. All of the JWST detectors will be operated in non-destructive readout mode. Therefore, the first step in the pipeline will be to calculate the slopes of indivudal non-destructive readout ramps or integrations. The next step will be to generate calibrated slope images that are represent the basic calibrated data. The final step will be to combine data taken across multiple integrations and exposure. For the direct imaging and integral field spectroscopy modes, the pipeline will produce calibrated mosaicks. For the coronagraphic modes, the pipeline will produce contrast curves and PSF subtracted images.

  2. First starlight spectrum captured using an integrated photonic micro-spectrograph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cvetojevic, N.; Jovanovic, N.; Betters, C.; Lawrence, J. S.; Ellis, S. C.; Robertson, G.; Bland-Hawthorn, J.

    2012-08-01

    Photonic technologies have received growing consideration for incorporation into next-generation astronomical instrumentation, owing to their miniature footprint and inherent robustness. In this paper we present results from the first on-telescope demonstration of a miniature photonic spectrograph for astronomy, by obtaining spectra spanning the entire H-band from several stellar targets. The prototype was tested on the 3.9 m Anglo-Australian telescope. In particular, we present a spectrum of the variable star π 1 Gru, with observed CO molecular absorption bands, at a resolving power R = 2500 at 1600 nm. Furthermore, we successfully demonstrate the simultaneous acquisition of multiple spectra with a single spectrograph chip by using multiple fibre inputs.

  3. Astronomical Software Directory Service

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hanisch, Robert J.; Payne, Harry; Hayes, Jeffrey

    1997-01-01

    With the support of NASA's Astrophysics Data Program (NRA 92-OSSA-15), we have developed the Astronomical Software Directory Service (ASDS): a distributed, searchable, WWW-based database of software packages and their related documentation. ASDS provides integrated access to 56 astronomical software packages, with more than 16,000 URLs indexed for full-text searching. Users are performing about 400 searches per month. A new aspect of our service is the inclusion of telescope and instrumentation manuals, which prompted us to change the name to the Astronomical Software and Documentation Service. ASDS was originally conceived to serve two purposes: to provide a useful Internet service in an area of expertise of the investigators (astronomical software), and as a research project to investigate various architectures for searching through a set of documents distributed across the Internet. Two of the co-investigators were then installing and maintaining astronomical software as their primary job responsibility. We felt that a service which incorporated our experience in this area would be more useful than a straightforward listing of software packages. The original concept was for a service based on the client/server model, which would function as a directory/referral service rather than as an archive. For performing the searches, we began our investigation with a decision to evaluate the Isite software from the Center for Networked Information Discovery and Retrieval (CNIDR). This software was intended as a replacement for Wide-Area Information Service (WAIS), a client/server technology for performing full-text searches through a set of documents. Isite had some additional features that we considered attractive, and we enjoyed the cooperation of the Isite developers, who were happy to have ASDS as a demonstration project. We ended up staying with the software throughout the project, making modifications to take advantage of new features as they came along, as well as

  4. Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS) Catalogs and Atlases. Explanatory Supplement

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Beichman, C. A. (Editor); Neugebauer, G. (Editor); Habing, H. J. (Editor); Clegg, P. E. (Editor); Chester, T. J. (Editor)

    1985-01-01

    The Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS) mission is described. An overview of the mission, a description of the satellite and its telescope system, and a discussion of the mission design, requirements, and inflight modifications are given. Data reduction, flight tests, flux reconstruction and calibration, data processing, and the formats of the IRAS catalogs and atlases are also considered.

  5. MEGARA: a new generation optical spectrograph for GTC

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gil de Paz, A.; Gallego, J.; Carrasco, E.; Iglesias-Páramo, J.; Cedazo, R.; Vílchez, J. M.; García-Vargas, M. L.; Arrillaga, X.; Carrera, M. A.; Castillo-Morales, A.; Castillo-Domínguez, E.; Eliche-Moral, M. C.; Ferrusca, D.; González-Guardia, E.; Lefort, B.; Maldonado, M.; Marino, R. A.; Martínez-Delgado, I.; Morales Durán, I.; Mujica, E.; Páez, G.; Pascual, S.; Pérez-Calpena, A.; Sánchez-Penim, A.; Sánchez-Blanco, E.; Tulloch, S.; Velázquez, M.; Zamorano, J.; Aguerri, A. L.; Barrado y Naváscues, D.; Bertone, E.; Cardiel, N.; Cava, A.; Cenarro, J.; Chávez, M.; García, M.; Guichard, J.; Gúzman, R.; Herrero, A.; Huélamo, N.; Hughes, D.; Jiménez-Vicente, J.; Kehrig, C.; Márquez, I.; Masegosa, J.; Mayya, Y. D.; Méndez-Abreu, J.; Mollá, M.; Muñoz-Tuñón, C.; Peimbert, M.; Pérez-González, P. G.; Pérez Montero, E.; Rodríguez, M.; Rodríguez-Espinosa, J. M.; Rodríguez-Merino, L.; Rosa-González, D.; Sánchez-Almeida, J.; Sánchez Contreras, C.; Sánchez-Blázquez, P.; Sánchez Moreno, F. M.; Sánchez, S. F.; Sarajedini, A.; Serena, F.; Silich, S.; Simón-Díaz, S.; Tenorio-Tagle, G.; Terlevich, E.; Terlevich, R.; Torres-Peimbert, S.; Trujillo, I.; Tsamis, Y.; Vega, O.; Villar, V.

    2014-07-01

    MEGARA (Multi-Espectrógrafo en GTC de Alta Resolución para Astronomía) is an optical Integral-Field Unit (IFU) and Multi-Object Spectrograph (MOS) designed for the GTC 10.4m telescope in La Palma. MEGARA offers two IFU fiber bundles, one covering 12.5x11.3 arcsec2 with a spaxel size of 0.62 arcsec (Large Compact Bundle; LCB) and another one covering 8.5x6.7 arcsec2 with a spaxel size of 0.42 arcsec (Small Compact Bundle; SCB). The MEGARA MOS mode will allow observing up to 100 objects in a region of 3.5x3.5 arcmin2 around the two IFU bundles. Both the LCB IFU and MOS capabilities of MEGARA will provide intermediate-to-high spectral resolutions (RFWHM~6,000, 12,000 and 18,700, respectively for the low-, mid- and high-resolution Volume Phase Holographic gratings) in the range 3650-9700ÅÅ. These values become RFWHM~7,000, 13,500, and 21,500 when the SCB is used. A mechanism placed at the pseudo-slit position allows exchanging the three observing modes and also acts as focusing mechanism. The spectrograph is a collimator-camera system that has a total of 11 VPHs simultaneously available (out of the 18 VPHs designed and being built) that are placed in the pupil by means of a wheel and an insertion mechanism. The custom-made cryostat hosts an E2V231-84 4kx4k CCD. The UCM (Spain) leads the MEGARA Consortium that also includes INAOE (Mexico), IAA-CSIC (Spain), and UPM (Spain). MEGARA is being developed under a contract between GRANTECAN and UCM. The detailed design, construction and AIV phases are now funded and the instrument should be delivered to GTC before the end of 2016.

  6. Apollo 16 far-ultraviolet camera/spectrograph - Instrument and operations.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carruthers, G. R.

    1973-01-01

    A far-ultraviolet camera/spectrograph experiment was designed and constructed for studies of the terrestrial upper atmosphere and geocorona, the interplanetary medium, and celestial objects from the lunar surface. The experiment was successfully operated during the Apollo 16 mission 21-23 April 1972. Discussed are the design and operating principles of the instrument, the actual events and operations during the Apollo 16 mission, and also anomalies encountered and suggested improvements for future experiments of this type. This experiment demonstrated the utility of the electronographic technique in space astronomy, as well as the great potential of the lunar surface as a base for astronomical observations.

  7. The Rapid Acquisition Imaging Spectrograph Experiment (RAISE) Sounding Rocket Investigation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laurent, Glenn T.; Hassler, Donald M.; Deforest, Craig; Slater, David D.; Thomas, Roger J.; Ayres, Thomas; Davis, Michael; de Pontieu, Bart; Diller, Jed; Graham, Roy; Michaelis, Harald; Schuele, Udo; Warren, Harry

    2016-03-01

    We present a summary of the solar observing Rapid Acquisition Imaging Spectrograph Experiment (RAISE) sounding rocket program including an overview of the design and calibration of the instrument, flight performance, and preliminary chromospheric results from the successful November 2014 launch of the RAISE instrument. The RAISE sounding rocket payload is the fastest scanning-slit solar ultraviolet imaging spectrograph flown to date. RAISE is designed to observe the dynamics and heating of the solar chromosphere and corona on time scales as short as 100-200ms, with arcsecond spatial resolution and a velocity sensitivity of 1-2km/s. Two full spectral passbands over the same one-dimensional spatial field are recorded simultaneously with no scanning of the detectors or grating. The two different spectral bands (first-order 1205-1251Å and 1524-1569Å) are imaged onto two intensified Active Pixel Sensor (APS) detectors whose focal planes are individually adjusted for optimized performance. RAISE reads out the full field of both detectors at 5-10Hz, recording up to 1800 complete spectra (per detector) in a single 6-min rocket flight. This opens up a new domain of high time resolution spectral imaging and spectroscopy. RAISE is designed to observe small-scale multithermal dynamics in Active Region (AR) and quiet Sun loops, identify the strength, spectrum and location of high frequency waves in the solar atmosphere, and determine the nature of energy release in the chromospheric network.

  8. On astronomical drawing [1846

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smyth, Charles Piazzi

    Reprinted from the Memoirs of the Royal Astronomical Society 15, 1846, pp. 71-82. With annotations and illustrations added by Klaus Hentschel. The activities of the Astronomer Royal for Scotland, Charles Piazzi Smyth (1819-1900), include the triangulation of South African districts, landscape painting, day-to-day or tourist sketching, the engraving and lithographing of prominent architectural sites, the documentary photography of the Egyptian pyramids or the Tenerife Dragon tree, and `instant photographs' of the clouds above his retirement home in Clova, Ripon. His colorful records of the aurora polaris, and solar and terrestrial spectra all profited from his trained eye and his subtle mastery of the pen and the brush. As his paper on astronomical drawing, which we chose to reproduce in this volume, amply demonstrates, he was conversant in most of the print technology repertoire that the 19th century had to offer, and carefully selected the one most appropriate to each sujet. For instance, he chose mezzotint for the plates illustrating Maclear's observations of Halley's comet in 1835/36, so as to achieve a ``rich profundity of shadows, the deep obscurity of which is admirably adapted to reproduce those fine effects of chiaroscuro frequently found in works where the quantity of dark greatly predominates.'' The same expertise with which he tried to emulate Rembrandt's chiaroscuro effects he applied to assessing William and John Herschel's illustrations of nebulae, which appeared in print between 1811 and 1834. William Herschel's positive engraving, made partly by stippling and partly by a coarse mezzotint, receives sharp admonishment because of the visible ruled crossed lines in the background and the fact that ``the objects, which are also generally too light, [have] a much better definition than they really possess.'' On the other hand, John Herschel's illustration of nebulae and star clusters, given in negative, ``in which the lights are the darkest part of the

  9. Astronomical Instruments in India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sarma, Sreeramula Rajeswara

    The earliest astronomical instruments used in India were the gnomon and the water clock. In the early seventh century, Brahmagupta described ten types of instruments, which were adopted by all subsequent writers with minor modifications. Contact with Islamic astronomy in the second millennium AD led to a radical change. Sanskrit texts began to lay emphasis on the importance of observational instruments. Exclusive texts on instruments were composed. Islamic instruments like the astrolabe were adopted and some new types of instruments were developed. Production and use of these traditional instruments continued, along with the cultivation of traditional astronomy, up to the end of the nineteenth century.

  10. MIRADAS - The Next-Generation Near-Infrared Spectrograph for the GTC

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eikenberry, S. S.

    2013-05-01

    We describe the Mid-resolution InfRAreD Astronomical Spectrograph (MIRADAS) being developed by the MIRADAS Consortium institutions (including the University of Florida, Universidad de Barcelona, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Instituto Astrofísica de Canarias, Institut de Física d' Altes Energies, Institut d' Estudis Espacials de Catalunya and Universidad Nacional Autonoma de México) for the Gran Telescopio Canarias. MIRADAS is the most powerful astronomical instrument of its kind ever envisioned. The combination of the collecting area of GTC and the multi-object mid-resolution near-infrared spectra provided by MIRADAS make its capabilities unparalleled for addressing some of the leading scientific challenges of the coming decades, with an observing efficiency more than an order of magnitude greater than current capabilities for 10-meter-class telescopes. We briefly review the science drivers for the instrument, the basic design features, and the current status of the instrument development.

  11. Characterization and on-sky demonstration of an integrated photonic spectrograph for astronomy.

    PubMed

    Cvetojevic, N; Lawrence, J S; Ellis, S C; Bland-Hawthorn, J; Haynes, R; Horton, A

    2009-10-12

    We present results from the first on-sky demonstration of a prototype astronomical integrated photonic spectrograph (IPS) using the Anglo-Australian Telescope near-infrared imaging spectrometer (IRIS2) at Siding Spring Observatory to observe atmospheric molecular OH emission lines. We have succeeded in detecting upwards of 27 lines, and demonstrated the practicality of the IPS device for astronomy. Furthermore, we present a laboratory characterization of the device, which is a modified version of a commercial arrayed-waveguide grating multiplexer. We measure the spectral resolution full-width-half-maximum to be 0.75 +/- 0.05 nm (giving R = lambda/deltalambda = 2100 +/- 150 at 1500 nm). We find the free spectral range to be 57.4 +/- 0.6 nm and the peak total efficiency to be approximately 65%. Finally, we briefly discuss the future steps required to realize an astronomical instrument based on this technology concept.

  12. Self-scanned photodiode array - High performance operation in high dispersion astronomical spectrophotometry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vogt, S. S.; Tull, R. G.; Kelton, P.

    1978-01-01

    A multichannel spectrophotometric detector system has been developed using a 1024 element self-scanned silicon photodiode array, which is now in routine operation with the high-dispersion coude spectrograph of the University of Texas McDonald Observatory 2.7-m telescope. Operational considerations in the use of such arrays for high precision and low light level spectrophotometry are discussed. A detailed description of the system is presented. Performance of the detector as measured in the laboratory and on astronomical program objects is described, and it is shown that these arrays are highly effective detectors for high dispersion astronomical spectroscopy.

  13. Goddard High Resolution Spectrograph SV/GTO Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ebbets, Dennis

    1999-01-01

    Contract number NAS5-30433, known at Ball Aerospace as the GHRS SV/GTO project, supported our participation in the post-launch activities of the Goddard High Resolution Spectrograph aboard the Hubble Space Telescope. The period of performance was December 1988 through December 1998. The contract supported the involvement of Dr Dennis Ebbets in the work of the GHRS Investigation Definition Team, and several of the Ball people in the documentation and publication of results. Three main categories of tasks were covered by this contract; in-orbit calibration of the GHRS, guaranteed time observations, and education and public outreach. The nature and accomplishments of these tasks are described in the report. This summary makes many references to publications in the scientific and technical literature. Appendix A is extracted from a complete bibliography, and lists those papers that are directly related to work performed under this GHRS contract. The tasks related to the in-orbit calibration of the GHRS were by far the largest responsibility during the first six years of the project. During this period Dr. Ebbets was responsible for the definition of calibration requirements, design of experiments, preparation of observing proposals, tracking their implementation and execution, and coordinating the analysis and publication of the results. Prior to the launch of HST in 1990 the observing proposals were developed in cooperation with the scientists on the GHRS DDT, engineers at Ball Aerospace, the operations staff at the STScI, and project coordinators at GSFC.

  14. An Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph for JIMO

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hendrix, A. R.; Esposito, L. W.; Pryor, W. R.; Stewart, A. I. F.; McClintock, W. E.; Hansen, C. J.

    2003-01-01

    It is vital to include an ultraviolet spectrograph as part of the JIMO payload to Europa, Ganymede and Callisto. Ultraviolet measurements are key for understanding the atmospheres, auroral activity and surfaces of these icy satellites, and a UV imaging spectrograph will also complement a visible camera and near-IR spectrometer, to achieve full wavelength coverage in remote sensing of the icy satellites. The UV instrument proposed for JIMO will be similar to that currently on board the Cassini spacecraft. The design draws on the experience of building UV spectrometers for Mariner, Pioneer, Galileo and Cassini. It will have three spectrographic channels that provide images and spectra of the atmosphere, aurorae and surface: An EUV channel (800-110 nm), an FUV channel (110 to 190 nm) range, and an NUV channel (180 to 350 nm).

  15. National Student Solar Spectrograph Competition overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larimer, Randal M.; DesJardins, Angela; Shaw, Joseph A.; Kankelborg, Charles C.; Palmer, Christopher; Springer, Larry; Key, Joey; Knighton, W. Berk; Repasky, Kevin S.; Pust, Nathan J.; Hobish, Mitchell K.; Wilson, Edmond W.; Fitzgerald, Carrie; Fitzgerald, Ryan; Trickel, Thomas; Jensen, Clyde; Dorsett, Skye; Anderson, Matt; Boger, Jim; McCrady, Nate; Naylor, Jaylene; Battle, Laurie

    2012-10-01

    The yearly National Student Solar Spectrograph Competition (NSSSC) is Montana Space Grant Consortium's Education and Public Outreach (EP/O) Program for NASA's Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) mission. The NSSSC is designed to give schools with less aerospace activity such as Minority Serving Institutions and Community Colleges an opportunity for hands on real world research experience. The NSSSC provides students from across the country the opportunity to work as part of an undergraduate interdisciplinary team to design, build and test a ground based solar spectrograph. Over the course of nine months, teams come up with their own science goals and then build an instrument to collect data in support of their goals. Teams then travel to Bozeman, MT to demonstrate their instruments and present their results in a competitive science fair environment. This paper and poster will discuss the 2011-2012 competition along with results as well as provide information on the 2012 -2013 competition opportunities.

  16. Grigor Narekatsi's astronomical insights

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poghosyan, Samvel

    2015-07-01

    What stand out in the solid system of Gr. Narekatsi's naturalistic views are his astronomical insights on the material nature of light, its high speed and the Sun being composed of "material air". Especially surprising and fascinating are his views on stars and their clusters. What astronomers, including great Armenian academician V. Ambartsumian (scattering of stellar associations), would understand and prove with much difficulty thousand years later, Narekatsi predicted in the 10th century: "Stars appear and disappear untimely", "You who gather and scatter the speechless constellations, like a flock of sheep". Gr. Narekatsti's reformative views were manifested in all the spheres of the 10th century social life; he is a reformer of church life, great language constructor, innovator in literature and music, freethinker in philosophy and science. His ideology is the reflection of the 10th century Armenian Renaissance. During the 9th-10th centuries, great masses of Armenians, forced to migrate to the Balkans, took with them and spread reformative ideas. The forefather of the western science, which originated in the period of Reformation, is considered to be the great philosopher Nicholas of Cusa. The study of Gr. Narekatsti's logic and naturalistic views enables us to claim that Gr. Narekatsti is the great grandfather of European science.

  17. Professional Ethics for Astronomers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marvel, K. B.

    2005-05-01

    There is a growing recognition that professional ethics is an important topic for all professional scientists, especially physical scientists. Situations at the National Laboratories have dramatically proven this point. Professional ethics is usually only considered important for the health sciences and the legal and medical professions. However, certain aspects of the day to day work of professional astronomers can be impacted by ethical issues. Examples include refereeing scientific papers, serving on grant panels or telescope allocation committees, submitting grant proposals, providing proper references in publications, proposals or talks and even writing recommendation letters for job candidates or serving on search committees. This session will feature several speakers on a variety of topics and provide time for questions and answers from the audience. Confirmed speakers include: Kate Kirby, Director Institute for Theoretical Atomic and Molecular Physics - Professional Ethics in the Physical Sciences: An Overview Rob Kennicutt, Astrophysical Journal Editor - Ethical Issues for Publishing Astronomers Peggy Fischer, Office of the NSF Inspector General - Professional Ethics from the NSF Inspector General's Point of View

  18. Really Bad Astronomers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hockey, Thomas A.

    2009-01-01

    What happens when even Percival Lowell stops believing in your Mars observations? History can be troubling. This I learned while editing the Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers (Springer, 2007). There have been astronomers who do not fit our commonly held, and clung to, conceptual model: a sociological system that sifts out generally like-minded and sensible colleagues. I refer to those individuals who (for at least a time) successfully entered the mainstream profession, but now disturb our worldview that says prosperity as a scientist usually is achieved by a rational being holding certain common values. My List of Shame includes examples from each of the last four centuries. Not "crack pot” cosmologists, these were hard-working observers for whom the end justified the means. And they all got away with it. Each person I discuss was vetted by the professional establishment of the day. Yet you will learn how to be fired from a major observatory, banned from prominent journals. But only after damage to the science is done. Be afraid.

  19. Strasbourg's "First" astronomical observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heck, André

    2011-08-01

    The turret lantern located at the top of the Strasbourg Hospital Gate is generally considered as the first astronomical observatory of the city, but such a qualification must be treated with caution. The thesis of this paper is that the idea of a tower-observatory was brought back by a local scholar, Julius Reichelt (1637-1717), after he made a trip to Northern Europe around 1666 and saw the "Rundetårn" (Round Tower) recently completed in Copenhagen. There, however, a terrace allowed (and still allows) the full viewing of the sky, and especially of the zenith area where the atmospheric transparency is best. However, there is no such terrace in Strasbourg around the Hospital Gate lantern. Reichelt had also visited Johannes Hevelius who was then developing advanced observational astronomy in Gdansk, but nothing of the kind followed in Strasbourg. Rather, the Hospital Gate observatory was built essentially for the prestige of the city and for the notoriety of the university, and the users of this observing post did not make any significant contributions to the progress of astronomical knowledge. We conclude that the Hospital Gate observatory was only used for rudimentary viewing of bright celestial objects or phenomena relatively low on the horizon.

  20. Astronomer's Proposal Tool

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Krueger, Tony

    2005-01-01

    Astronomer's Proposal Tool (APT) is a computer program that assists astronomers in preparing their Phase 1 and Phase 2 Hubble Space Telescope science programs. APT is a successor to the Remote Proposal Submission System 2 (RPS2) program, which has been rendered obsolete by more recent advances in computer software and hardware. APT exploits advances associated with widespread use of the Internet, multiplatform visual development software tools, and overall increases in the power of desktop computer hardware, all in such a way as to make the preparation and submission of proposals more intuitive and make observatory operations less cumbersome. APT provides documentation and help that are friendly, up to date, and easily accessible to users of varying levels of expertise, while defining an extensible framework that is responsive to changes in both technology and observatory operations. APT consists of two major components: (1) a set of software tools that are intuitive, visual, and responsive and (2) an integrated software environment that unifies all the tools and makes them interoperable. The APT tools include the Visual Target Tuner, Proposal Editor, Exposure Planner, Bright Object Checker, and Visit Planner.

  1. Integrating the HERMES spectrograph for the AAT

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heijmans, Jeroen; Asplund, Martin; Barden, Sam; Birchall, Michael; Carollo, Daniela; Bland-Hawthorn, Joss; Brzeski, Jurek; Case, Scott; Churilov, Vladimir; Colless, Matthew; Dean, Robert; De Silva, Gayandhi; Farrell, Tony; Fiegert, Kristin; Freeman, Kenneth; Gers, Luke; Goodwin, Michael; Gray, Doug; Heald, Ron; Heng, Anthony; Jones, Damien; Kobayashi, Chiaki; Klauser, Urs; Kondrat, Yuriy; Lawrence, Jon; Lee, Steve; Mathews, Darren; Mayfield, Don; Miziarski, Stan; Monnet, Guy J.; Muller, Rolf; Pai, Naveen; Patterson, Robert; Penny, Ed; Orr, David; Sheinis, Andrew; Shortridge, Keith; Smedley, Scott; Smith, Greg; Stafford, Darren; Staszak, Nicholas; Vuong, Minh; Waller, Lewis; Whittard, Denis; Wylie de Boer, Elisabeth; Xavier, Pascal; Zheng, Jessica; Zhelem, Ross; Zucker, Daniel

    2012-09-01

    The High Efficiency and Resolution Multi Element Spectrograph, HERMES is an optical spectrograph designed primarily for the GALAH, Galactic Archeology Survey, the first major attempt to create a detailed understanding of galaxy formation and evolution by studying the history of our own galaxy, the Milky Way1. The goal of the GALAH survey is to reconstruct the mass assembly history of the of the Milky way, through a detailed spatially tagged abundance study of one million stars in the Milky Way. The spectrograph will be based at the Anglo Australian Telescope (AAT) and be fed with the existing 2dF robotic fibre positioning system. The spectrograph uses VPH-gratings to achieve a spectral resolving power of 28,000 in standard mode and also provides a high resolution mode ranging between 40,000 to 50,000 using a slit mask. The GALAH survey requires a SNR greater than 100 aiming for a star brightness of V=14. The total spectral coverage of the four channels is about 100nm between 370 and 1000nm for up to 392 simultaneous targets within the 2 degree field of view. Current efforts are focused on manufacturing and integration. The delivery date of spectrograph at the telescope is scheduled for 2013. A performance prediction is presented and a complete overview of the status of the HERMES spectrograph is given. This paper details the following specific topics: The approach to AIT, the manufacturing and integration of the large mechanical frame, the opto-mechanical slit assembly, collimator optics and cameras, VPH gratings, cryostats, fibre cable assembly, instrument control hardware and software, data reduction.

  2. VIRUS spectrograph assembly and alignment procedures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prochaska, Travis; Allen, Richard D.; Boster, Emily; DePoy, D. L.; Herbig, Benjamin; Hill, Gary J.; Lee, Hanshin; Marshall, Jennifer L.; Martin, Emily C.; Meador, William; Rheault, Jean-Philippe; Tuttle, Sarah E.; Vattiat, Brian L.

    2012-09-01

    We describe the mechanical assembly and optical alignment processes used to construct the Visual Integral-Field Replicable Unit Spectrograph (VIRUS) instrument. VIRUS is a set of 150+ optical spectrographs designed to support observations for the Hobby-Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment (HETDEX). To meet the instrument's manufacturing constraints, a production line will be set up to build subassemblies in parallel. To aid in the instrument's assembly and alignment, specialized fixtures and adjustment apparatuses have been developed. We describe the design and operations of the various optics alignment apparatuses, as well as the mirrors' alignment and bonding fixtures.

  3. Initial results from VIRUS production spectrographs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tuttle, Sarah E.; Allen, Richard D.; Chonis, Taylor S.; Cornell, Mark E.; DePoy, Darren L.; Hill, Gary J.; Lee, Hanshin; Marshall, Jennifer L.; Prochaska, Travis; Rafal, Marc D.; Savage, Richard D.; Vattiat, Brian L.

    2012-09-01

    The Hobby-Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment (HETDEX) uses a novel technique of replicated spectrographs (VIRUS) to measure dark energy at intermediate redshifts (2 < z < 4). VIRUS contains over 30,000 fibers and over 160 independent and identical channels. Here we report on the construction and characterization of the initial batch of VIRUS spectrograph cameras. Assembly of the first batch of 16 is in progress. A brief overview of the assembly is presented, and where available performance is compared to specification.

  4. HETDEX: VIRUS Spectrographs Assembly and Alignment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prochaska, Travis; Marshall, J. L.; DePoy, D. L.; Boster, E.; Meador, W.; Allen, R.; Hill, G. J.; HETDEX Collaboration

    2012-01-01

    We describe the assembly and optical alignment process used to construct the Visual Integral-Field Replicable Unit Spectrograph (VIRUS) instrument. VIRUS is a set of 150+ optical spectrographs designed to support observations for the Hobby-Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment (HETDEX). To meet the accuracy, interchangeability, time and cost constraints, a production line will be set up to construct and test modular subassemblies in parallel. To facilitate the VIRUS production, fixtures and adjustment mechanisms have been designed to aid in assembly and alignment. This poster describes the details and operations of the camera mirror, collimator mirror and grating adjustment mechanisms, as well as the fold flat mirror alignment fixture.

  5. Spectrographic analysis of coal and coal ash

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hunter, R.G.; Headlee, A.J.W.

    1950-01-01

    Coal can be analyzed on the spectrograph for per cent ash and composition of ash in a matter of a few minutes, using the total energy method. The composition of the ash so determined can be used to calculate ash softening temperatures. This analysis can be made in sufficiently short a time to control tipple and washing operations for preparation of coal to meet specifications. This spectrographic method can be readily adapted to the analysis of rocks, minerals, and inorganic chemicals of all kinds.

  6. Upgrade Of The SDSS Spectrographs For BOSS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roe, Natalie; Barkhouser, R.; Carey, L.; Carr, M.; Eisenstein, D. J.; Gunn, J. E.; Honscheid, K.; Leger, F.; Rockosi, C.; Schlegel, D. J.; Smee, S.

    2010-01-01

    A major upgrade of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) fiber-fed spectrographs was completed in August, 2009. The upgraded spectrographs have 50% more fibers, extended wavelength coverage and much improved throughput. Large format VPH gratings and thick, fully-depleted CCDs are special features of the upgrade, which will enable the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS) project to obtain spectra of 1.4M galaxies and 160,000 quasars in five years of dark time observations. We report on the details of the upgrade, including the fiber system, optics, cameras and electronics.

  7. Mass producing an efficient NIR spectrograph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, John C.; Henderson, Charles P.; Herter, Terry L.; Matthews, Keith; Skrutskie, Michael F.; Adams, Joseph D.; Moon, Dae-Sik; Smith, Roger; Gautier, Nick; Ressler, Michael; Soifer, B. T.; Lin, Sean; Howard, James; LaMarr, John; Stolberg, Todd M.; Zink, Jeff

    2004-09-01

    Four institutions are collaborating to design and build three near identical R ~2700 cross-dispersed near-infrared spectrographs for use on various 5-10 meter telescopes. The instrument design addresses the common observatory need for efficient, reliable near-infrared spectrographs through such features as broad wavelength coverage across 6 simultaneous orders (0.8 - 2.4 microns) in echelle format, real-time slit viewing through separate optics and detector, and minimal moving parts. Lastly, the collaborators are saving money and increasing the likelihood of success through economies of scale and sharing intellectual capital.

  8. The Spartan-281 Far Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carruthers, George R.; Heckathorn, Harry M.; Dufour, Reginald J.; Opal, Chet B.; Raymond, John C.

    1988-01-01

    The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory's Far Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph (FUVIS), currently under development for flight as a Spartan shuttle payload, is designed to perform spectroscopy of diffuse sources in the FUV with very high sensitivity and moderate spatial and spectral resolution. Diffuse nebulae, the general galactic background radiation, and artificially induced radiation associated with the Space Shuttle vehicle are sources of particular interest. The FUVIS instrument will cover the wavelength range of 970-2000 A with selectable resolutions of 5 and 30 A. It is a slit imaging spectrograph having 3 arcmin spatial resolution along its 2.7 deg long slit.

  9. EMIR: a Near-Infrared Multiobject Spectrograph for the GTC

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garzón, F.; Fuentes, J.; Manescau, A.; Díaz, J. J.; Patrón, J.; Pelló, R.; López, J. C.; Pérez, J.; Fragoso, A. B.; Gago, F.; Beigbeder, F.; Sanchez, V.; Correa, S.; Villegas, A.

    In this contribution, we review the overall features of EMIR, the NIR multiobject spectrograph of the GTC. EMIR is at present in the middle of its PD phase and will be one of the first common user instruments for the GTC, the 10 meter telescope under construction by GRANTECAN at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory (Canary Islands, Spain). EMIR is being built by a Consortium of Spanish, French, and British institutes led by the IAC. EMIR is designed to realize one of the central goals of 10 m class telescopes, that of allowing observers to obtain spectra for large numbers of faint sources in a time-efficient manner. EMIR is primarily designed to be operated as a MOS in the K band but offers a wide range of observing modes, including imaging and spectroscopy, both long slit and multiobject, in the wavelength range 0.9 to 2.5 μ m. The present status of development of EMIR, its expected performance, and the project schedule are described and discussed. This project is funded by GRANTECAN and the Plan Nacional de Astronomía y Astrofísica (National Plan for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Spain).

  10. EMIR: the GTC NIR multiobject imager-spectrograph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garzon, Francisco; Barrera, S.; Correa, Santiago; Diaz-Garcia, Jose J.; Fragoso-Lopez, Ana B.; Fuentes, F. Javier; Gago, Fernando; Lopez-Ruiz, Jose-Carlos; Manescau, Antonio; Patron, Jesus; Perez-Espinos, Jaime; Sanchez de la Rosa, Vicente; Villegas, Alejandro; Redondo, Pablo

    2003-03-01

    In this contribution we review the overall features of EMIR, the NIR multiobject spectrograph of the GTC. EMIR is at present in the middle of the PD phase and will be one of the first common user instruments for the GTC, the 10 meter telescope under construction by GRANTECAN at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory (Canary Islands, Spain). EMIR is being built by a Consortium of Spanish, French and British institutes led by the IAC. EMIR is designed to realize one of the central goals of 10m class telescopes, allowing observers to obtain spectra for large numbers of faint sources in an time-efficient manner. EMIR is primarily designed to be operated as a MOS in the K band, but offers a wide range of observing modes, including imaging and spectroscopy, both long slit and multiobject, in the wavelength range 0.9 to 2.5 μm. The present status of development, expected performances and schedule are described and discussed. This project is funded by GRANTECAN and the Plan Nacional de Astronomía y Astrofísica (National Plan for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Spain).

  11. Mid-infrared camera/spectrograph for OAN/SPM

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sohn, Erika; Ruiz, Elfego; Cruz-Gonzales, Irene; Salas, Luis

    1998-08-01

    The design concepts of a mid-IR camera/spectrograph, based on a HUGHES/SBRC 320 by 240 Si:As IBC sensor chip assembly (SCA), are presented, The system will operate in the 2 to 28 micrometers wavelength interval and will be optimized in the 10 micrometers regime. This SCA is divided into 32 regions, each with an independent output. The outputs, after being amplified and sampled, are multiplexed into 8 high speed 16 bit A/D converters. The initial configuration allows readout rates of up to 60 frame/s. A higher speed frame readout configuration is foreseen. A 32 bit deep memory and a high speed ALU, synchronized to the detector, will co- add/subtract the frames, making a real time visualization during the integration process possible. The detector, reflective optics, low resolution gratings, several cold stops, baffles, up to 12 filters and a CVF will be allocated in a 10 inch diameter working surface LN(subscript 2)/LHe dewar. The system will be linked to a workstation, providing a user friendly environment. The system is planned to operate at the Observatorio Astronomic Nacional in San Pedro Martir, B.C., Mexico.

  12. Astronomy without astronomers?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stavinschi, Magdalena

    Astronomy in Romania has an old tradition. After half a century of privations and isolation from the rest of the world, we believed that the changes undergone by our country in 1989 (and by the neighbour countries, as well) will be benefit for the Romanian astronomy, too. Indeed, it was, but for a very short period. The young people left the country, one by one, and others cannot accept the low salary offered by a research institute. The economy doesn't allow us to enrich the astronomical endowment. Of course, we cannot close the observatories. We have to find other ways to save the astronomy in this part of Europe, especially in the epoch of the space astronomy.

  13. Astronomers against Newton.

    PubMed

    Higgitt, Rebekah

    2004-03-01

    Francis Baily's publication of the manuscripts of John Flamsteed, the first Astronomer Royal, provoked a furious response. Flamsteed had quarrelled with Isaac Newton, and described him in terms unforgivable to those who claimed him as a paragon of all virtues, both moral and scientific. Baily was condemned for putting Flamsteed's complaints in the public sphere. However, his supporters saw his work as a critique of the excessive hero-worship accorded to Newton. Written when the word 'scientist' had been newly coined, this work and the debates it provoked gives us an insight into contemporary views of the role of the man of science and of the use of science to back political, religious and moral positions.

  14. Immanuel Halton, the astronomer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barber, P. M.

    1996-02-01

    Immanuel Halton was born in Cumberland, studied at Grays Inn, London during the later stages of the English Civil War and, during the Commonwealth, entered the service of Henry Howard, later 6th Duke of Norfolk. He pursued his mathematical and astronomical interests while auditor to the Duke of Norfolk. He met with John Flamsteed, encouraged the latter's interest in mathematics and astronomy and became his first patron, as well as contributing observations to Flamsteed's published works. Immanuel ended his days at Wingfield Manor, Derbyshire. A short biographical piece on Immanuel Halton appeared in the Journal in the early 1950s, consisting mostly of quotations from Flamsteed's 'Self Inspections' and Baily's 'Life of Flamsteed'. 1996 is the 350th anniversary of Flamsteed's birth, and it is hoped that this fuller account will flesh out the bones of his first patron.

  15. Astronomical education in Armenia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harutyunian, H. A.

    2006-08-01

    First ideas on astronomy pupils in Armenia get at elementary schools. Astronomy as a distinct subject is taught at all secondary schools in the country. Teaching is conducted according to a unified program elaborated jointly by professional astronomers and astronomy teachers. Unfortunately only one hour per week is allotted for teaching astronomy which obviously is not enough workload to hire specialized astronomy teachers at every school and at many schools this subject is tutored by non-specialists. Many schools partly compensate this lack organizing visits to the Byurakan observatory (BAO) for pupils where they also attend short lectures on astronomy. In some schools facultative training is organized faced to the amateurs purposive for deeper learning astronomy. During recent years annual competitions for revealing gifted pupils in astronomy are organized. These competitions have three rounds, namely, in schools, in districts and final one as a rule holds at BAO. The country winners successfully participate and win prestigious prizes in the international astronomical Olympiads as well. At Yerevan State University (YSU) a department for astrophysics was set up in 1946 operating to date. This department trains specialists for a career in astrophysics. Only one or two students graduate from this department yearly at present while in 80s a dozen of specialists were trained every year. BAO serves as the scientific base for the students of YSU as well and a number of staff members from BAO conduct special courses for YSU students. YSU provides Master's degree in astrophysics, and BAO is granting Doctor's (PhD) degree since 70s of last century.

  16. Radiation events in astronomical CCD images

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, A.R.; McDonald, R.J.; Hurley, D.L.; Holland, S.E.; Groom, D.E.; Brown, W.E.; Gilmore, D.K.; Stover, R.J.; Wei, M.

    2001-12-18

    The remarkable sensitivity of depleted silicon to ionizing radiation is a nuisance to astronomers. ''Cosmic rays'' degrade images because of struck pixels, leading to modified observing strategies and the development of algorithms to remove the unwanted artifacts. In the new-generation CCD's with thick sensitive regions, cosmic-ray muons make recognizable straight tracks and there is enhanced sensitivity to ambient gamma radiation via Compton-scattered electrons (''worms''). Beta emitters inside the dewar, for example high-potassium glasses such as BK7, also produce worm-like tracks. The cosmic-ray muon rate is irreducible and increases with altitude. The gamma rays are mostly by-products of the U and Th decay chains; these elements always appear as traces in concrete and other materials. The Compton recoil event rate can be reduced significantly by the choice of materials in the environment and dewar and by careful shielding. Telescope domes appear to be significantly cleaner than basement laboratories and Coude spectrograph rooms. Radiation sources inside the dewar can be eliminated by judicious choice of materials. Cosmogenic activation during high-altitude flights does not appear to be a problem. Our conclusions are supported by tests at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory low-level counting facilities in Berkeley and at Oroville, California (180 m underground).

  17. Radiation events in astronomical CCD images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, Alan R.; McDonald, Richard J.; Hurley, D. C.; Holland, Steven E.; Groom, Donald E.; Brown, William E.; Gilmore, David K.; Stover, Richard J.; Wei, Mingzhi

    2002-04-01

    The remarkable sensitivity of depleted silicon to ionizing radiation is a nuisance to astronomers. 'Cosmic rays' degrade images because of struck pixels, leading to modified observing strategies and the development of algorithms to remove the unwanted artifacts. In the new-generation CCD's with thick sensitive regions, cosmic-ray muons make recognizable straight tracks and there is enhanced sensitivity to ambient gamma radiation via Compton-scattered electrons ('worms'). Beta emitters inside the dewar, for example high-potassium glasses such as BK7 , also produce worm-like tracks. The cosmic-ray muon rate is irreducible and increases with altitude. The gamma rays are mostly by- products of 40K decay and the U and Th decay chains; these elements commonly appear as traces in concrete and other materials. The Compton recoil event rate can be reduced significantly by the choice of materials in the environment and dewar and by careful shielding. Telescope domes appear to have significantly lower rates than basement laboratories and Coude spectrograph rooms. Radiation sources inside the dewar can be eliminated by judicious choice of materials. Cosmogenic activation during high-altitude fights does not appear to be a problem. Our conclusion are supported by tests at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory low-level counting facilities in Berkeley and at Oroville, California (180 m underground).

  18. The optical design of MARVELS spectrograph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Bo; Ge, Jian; Groot, John

    2009-08-01

    This paper describes an optical spectrograph design for the Multi-object APO Radial-Velocity Exoplanet Large-area Survey (MARVELS) instrument. This MARVELS instrument is currently installed at the Sloan 2.5m telescope, and is capable of simultaneously monitoring 60 stars at high radial velocity precision for a planet survey. The MARVELS spectrograph consists of an entrance slit (multi-slits), collimator optics, a Volume Phase Holographic (VPH) grating, camera optics and a 4kx4k CCD camera, which with a 160mm diameter collimated beam provides a spectral resolution of R =10000. This spectrograph is transmissive and optimized for delivering high throughput and high image quality over the entire operation bandwidth 500-570nm and the whole 160mmx30mm square shape FOV. The collimator and camera optics (280 mm largest diameter) are all made of standard optical grade glasses. The f/4 input beams from the MARVELS monolithic interferometer are converted to f/1.5 beams on the detector by this spectrograph, and form 120 stellar fringe spectra.

  19. Visualizing Astronomical Data with Blender

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kent, Brian R.

    2013-06-01

    Astronomical data take on a multitude of forms—catalogs, data cubes, images, and simulations. The availability of software for rendering high-quality three-dimensional graphics lends itself to the paradigm of exploring the incredible parameter space afforded by the astronomical sciences. The software program Blender gives astronomers a useful tool for displaying data in a manner used by three-dimensional (3D) graphics specialists and animators. The interface to this popular software package is introduced with attention to features of interest in astronomy. An overview of the steps for generating models, textures, animations, camera work, and renders is outlined. An introduction is presented on the methodology for producing animations and graphics with a variety of astronomical data. Examples from subfields of astronomy with different kinds of data are shown with resources provided to members of the astronomical community. An example video showcasing the outlined principles and features is provided along with scripts and files for sample visualizations.

  20. An Astronomically Dated Standard in 40Ar/39Ar Geochronology?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuiper, K.; Hilgen, F.; Krijgsman, W.; Wijbrans, J.

    2003-12-01

    The standard geological time scale of Berggren et al. (1995) and Cande and Kent (1995) is calibrated with different absolute dating techniques, i.e. the Plio - Pleistocene relies on astronomical tuning, and older parts of the time scale are based on radio-isotopic (40Ar/39Ar and U/Pb) calibration methods. In the new edition of the standard geological timescale (Lourens et al., to be published in 2004) the entire Neogene will rely on astronomical dating. Therefore, it is of crucial importance that all dating methods produce equivalent absolute ages when the same geological event is dated. The Mediterranean Neogene provides an excellent opportunity to compare different dating methods by isotopic dating (40Ar/39Ar, U/Pb) of volcanic ash layers intercalated in astronomically dated sediments. Here we will show that in spite of potential errors in all methods, we succeeded to intercalibrate the 40Ar/39Ar and astronomical methods, arriving at astronomically calibrated age of 28.24 +/- 0.01 Ma for the in 40Ar/39Ar geochronology commonly used standard FCT sanidine. The advantage of an astronomically calibrated FCT above a K/Ar calibrated standard is a smaller error in the absolute age due to the lack of uncertainties related to 40K and radiogenic 40Ar contents in the primary standard and a decreasing influence of errors in the decay constant (branching ratio is not required). In addition to an astronomically calibrated FCT age we propose to introduce an astronomically dated standard. A direct astronomically dated standard can be regarded as a "primary" standard and does not require intercalibration with other standards, thus reducing analytical (and geological) uncertainties. Ash layers intercalated in sedimentary sequences in the Melilla Basin, Morocco appear to be the most suitable for this purpose. A reliable astronomical time control is available and intercalated ash layers contain sanidine phenocrysts up to 2 mm. Four ash layers are not or barely affected by

  1. VXMS: the VISTA extreme multiplex spectrograph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Content, Robert; Shanks, Tom; Sharples, Ray; Bramall, David; Percival, Will

    2012-09-01

    A study for a spectrograph delivering at least 10000 slits for galaxies and 20000 for stars over a 2.5 deg2 field have been completed as an answer to the call for proposal for future VISTA MOS instrumentation. In a single night, 65000 galaxy redshifts can be measured to z~0.7 and beyond for measuring the Baryon Acoustic Oscillation (BAO) scale and many other science goals. The design features ten cloned spectrographs which give a smaller total weight and length than a unique spectrograph to make it placable in the space envelope of the Cassegrain focus. The clones use a transparent design including a grism in which all optics are about the size or smaller than the clone rectangular subfield so that they can be tightly packed with little gaps between subfields. Only low cost glasses are used; the variations in chromatic aberrations between bands are compensated by changing a box containing the grism and two adjacent lenses. Two bands cover the 550nm to 900nm wavelength range at resolution of 1100 for blue end and 3000 for red end while another cover the Calcium triplet at 5000. An optional box does imaging but we studied different innovative methods for acquisition without imaging. A new 2.3° corrector was designed that places the pupil before and relatively near the focal plane which permits to give more space at the back of the spectrographs by placing them in a hedgehog configuration. An offaxis field lens in each spectrograph permits to control the pupil position.

  2. Mass production of volume phase holographic gratings for the VIRUS spectrograph array

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chonis, Taylor S.; Frantz, Amy; Hill, Gary J.; Clemens, J. Christopher; Lee, Hanshin; Tuttle, Sarah E.; Adams, Joshua J.; Marshall, J. L.; DePoy, D. L.; Prochaska, Travis

    2014-07-01

    The Visible Integral-field Replicable Unit Spectrograph (VIRUS) is a baseline array of 150 copies of a simple, fiber-fed integral field spectrograph that will be deployed on the Hobby-Eberly Telescope (HET). VIRUS is the first optical astronomical instrument to be replicated on an industrial scale, and represents a relatively inexpensive solution for carrying out large-area spectroscopic surveys, such as the HET Dark Energy Experiment (HETDEX). Each spectrograph contains a volume phase holographic (VPH) grating with a 138 mm diameter clear aperture as its dispersing element. The instrument utilizes the grating in first-order for 350 < λ (nm) < 550. Including witness samples, a suite of 170 VPH gratings has been mass produced for VIRUS. Here, we present the design of the VIRUS VPH gratings and a discussion of their mass production. We additionally present the design and functionality of a custom apparatus that has been used to rapidly test the first-order diffraction efficiency of the gratings for various discrete wavelengths within the VIRUS spectral range. This device has been used to perform both in-situ tests to monitor the effects of adjustments to the production prescription as well as to carry out the final acceptance tests of the gratings' diffraction efficiency. Finally, we present the as-built performance results for the entire suite of VPH gratings.

  3. The infrared imaging spectrograph (IRIS) for TMT: overview of innovative science programs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wright, Shelley A.; Larkin, James E.; Moore, Anna M.; Do, Tuan; Simard, Luc; Adamkovics, Maté; Armus, Lee; Barth, Aaron J.; Barton, Elizabeth; Boyce, Hope; Cooke, Jeffrey; Cote, Patrick; Davidge, Timothy; Ellerbroek, Brent; Ghez, Andrea M.; Liu, Michael C.; Lu, Jessica R.; Macintosh, Bruce A.; Mao, Shude; Marois, Christian; Schoeck, Matthias; Suzuki, Ryuji; Tan, Jonathan C.; Treu, Tommaso; Wang, Lianqi; Weiss, Jason

    2014-07-01

    IRIS (InfraRed Imaging Spectrograph) is a first light near-infrared diffraction limited imager and integral field spectrograph being designed for the future Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT). IRIS is optimized to perform astronomical studies across a significant fraction of cosmic time, from our Solar System to distant newly formed galaxies (Barton et al. [1]). We present a selection of the innovative science cases that are unique to IRIS in the era of upcoming space and ground-based telescopes. We focus on integral field spectroscopy of directly imaged exoplanet atmospheres, probing fundamental physics in the Galactic Center, measuring 104 to 1010 M supermassive black hole masses, resolved spectroscopy of young star-forming galaxies (1 < z < 5) and first light galaxies (6 < z < 12), and resolved spectroscopy of strong gravitational lensed sources to measure dark matter substructure. For each of these science cases we use the IRIS simulator (Wright et al. [2], Do et al. [3]) to explore IRIS capabilities. To highlight the unique IRIS capabilities, we also update the point and resolved source sensitivities for the integral field spectrograph (IFS) in all five broadband filters (Z, Y, J, H, K) for the finest spatial scale of 0.004" per spaxel. We briefly discuss future development plans for the data reduction pipeline and quicklook software for the IRIS instrument suite.

  4. Astronomical dating in the 19th century

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hilgen, Frederik J.

    2010-01-01

    Today astronomical tuning is widely accepted as numerical dating method after having revolutionised the age calibration of the geological archive and time scale over the last decades. However, its origin is not well known and tracing its roots is important especially from a science historic perspective. Astronomical tuning developed in consequence of the astronomical theory of the ice ages and was repeatedly used in the second half of the 19th century before the invention of radio-isotopic dating. Building upon earlier ideas of Joseph Adhémar, James Croll started to formulate his astronomical theory of the ice ages in 1864 according to which precession controlled ice ages occur alternatingly on both hemispheres at times of maximum eccentricity of the Earth's orbit. The publication of these ideas compelled Charles Lyell to revise his Principles of Geology and add Croll's theory, thus providing an alternative to his own geographical cause of the ice ages. Both Croll and Lyell initially tuned the last glacial epoch to the prominent eccentricity maximum 850,000 yr ago. This age was used as starting point by Lyell to calculate an age of 240 million years for the beginning of the Cambrium. But Croll soon revised the tuning to a much younger less prominent eccentricity maximum between 240,000 and 80,000 yr ago. In addition he tuned older glacial deposits of late Miocene and Eocene ages to eccentricity maxima around 800,000 and 2,800,000 yr ago. Archibald and James Geikie were the first to recognize interglacials during the last glacial epoch, as predicted by Croll's theory, and attempted to tune them to precession. Soon after Frank Taylor linked a series of 15 end-moraines left behind by the retreating ice sheet to precession to arrive at a possible age of 300,000 yr for the maximum glaciation. In a classic paper, Axel Blytt (1876) explained the scattered distribution of plant groups in Norway to precession induced alternating rainy and dry periods as recorded by the

  5. Successful "First Light" for VLT High-Resolution Spectrograph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1999-10-01

    Great Research Prospects with UVES at KUEYEN A major new astronomical instrument for the ESO Very Large Telescope at Paranal (Chile), the UVES high-resolution spectrograph, has just made its first observations of astronomical objects. The astronomers are delighted with the quality of the spectra obtained at this moment of "First Light". Although much fine-tuning still has to be done, this early success promises well for new and exciting science projects with this large European research facility. Astronomical instruments at VLT KUEYEN The second VLT 8.2-m Unit Telescope, KUEYEN ("The Moon" in the Mapuche language), is in the process of being tuned to perfection before it will be "handed" over to the astronomers on April 1, 2000. The testing of the new giant telescope has been successfully completed. The latest pointing tests were very positive and, from real performance measurements covering the entire operating range of the telescope, the overall accuracy on the sky was found to be 0.85 arcsec (the RMS-value). This is an excellent result for any telescope and implies that KUEYEN (as is already the case for ANTU) will be able to acquire its future target objects securely and efficiently, thus saving precious observing time. This work has paved the way for the installation of large astronomical instruments at its three focal positions, all prototype facilities that are capable of catching the light from even very faint and distant celestial objects. The three instruments at KUEYEN are referred to by their acronyms UVES , FORS2 and FLAMES. They are all dedicated to the investigation of the spectroscopic properties of faint stars and galaxies in the Universe. The UVES instrument The first to be installed is the Ultraviolet Visual Echelle Spectrograph (UVES) that was built by ESO, with the collaboration of the Trieste Observatory (Italy) for the control software. Complete tests of its optical and mechanical components, as well as of its CCD detectors and of the complex

  6. RHEA: the ultra-compact replicable high-resolution exoplanet and Asteroseismology spectrograph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feger, Tobias; Bacigalupo, Carlos; Bedding, Timothy R.; Bento, Joao; Coutts, David W.; Ireland, Michael J.; Parker, Quentin A.; Rizzuto, Aaron; Spaleniak, Izabela

    2014-08-01

    We present the opto-mechanical design and the characterization of the Replicable High-resolution Exoplanet and Asteroseismology (RHEA) spectrograph. RHEA is an ultra-compact fiber-fed echelle spectrograph designed to be used at 0.2-0.4 m class robotic telescopes where long term dedicated projects are possible. The instrument will be primarily used for radial velocity (RV) studies of low to intermediate-mass giant stars for the purpose of searching for hot Jupiters and using asteroseismology to simultaneously measure the host star parameters and de-correlate stellar pulsations. The optical design comprises a double-pass (i.e. near Littrow) configuration with prism cross-disperser and single-mode fiber (SMF) input. The spectrograph has a resolving power of R>70,000 and operates at 430-670 nm with minimum order separation of ~180 μm. This separation allows a 1x6 photonic lantern integration at a later stage which is currently under development. The current design is built with the aim of creating an inexpensive and replicable unit. The spectrograph is optimised for long-baseline RV observations through careful temperature stabilisation and simultaneous wavelength calibration. As a further improvement the echelle grating is housed in a vacuum chamber to maintain pressure stability. The performance of the current prototype is currently being tested on a 0.4 m telescope at the Macquarie University Observatory.

  7. Spectrographs for the Measurement of Radial Velocities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baranne, A.

    A radial-velocity measurement derives from a shift in position of spectral features at the focus of a spectrographic instrument. We do not often think about how small these shifts are. It is not generally appreciated that the accuracy to which this shift must be measured is a tiny fraction of a pixel. Or, if we prefer to calculate in microns a surprising minuteness. What precautions should we be taking for the measurement of such small shifts? It is true that, thanks to computers, modern reduction methods allows us to correct for a wide variety of pertubations, provided that these are foreseen and understood; but such reduction procedures will give the best results if such pertubations are kept very small. We must therefore analyse these pertubations and think about how we can control them. The correlation method initiated in its modern form by Roger Griffin, and which we developed further with an optical mask in CORAVEL twenty-five years ago and more recently with a numerical mask in ELODIE, has demonstrated its power. In terms of these methods, the problem of high precision is to improve the correlation peak. Can this be done? Does the correlation method allow us to distinguish the overall radial velocity of the object from possible distortions of the lines? This is certainly a major problem which must be solved. The luminous efficiency of high-precision spectrographs is low. If the use of an optical fibre with scrambling for feeding the spectrograph seems inevitable to us today, it seems to me that the transmission of this system can be considerably improved by a better choice of the F-ratio of the image beam of the telescope which is to be matched with that of the spectrograph. This problem, common to all spectrographs, could be resolved with a specialised focal-plane instrument, giving a much greater than usual F-ratio, resulting in a simplification of the spectrograph optics, and hence an improvement in transmission and a serious decrease in size (which is

  8. Virtual Astronomical Pipelines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dave, R.; Protopapas, P.; Lehner, M.

    2007-10-01

    The sheer magnitude of databases and data rates in new surveys makes it hard to develop pipelines to enable both the analysis of data and the federation of these databases for correlation and followup. There is thus a compelling need to facilitate the creation and management of dynamic workflow pipelines that enable correlating data between separate, parallel streams; changing the workflow in response to an event; using the NVO to obtain additional needed information from databases; and modifying the observing program of a primary survey to follow-up a transient or moving object. This paper describes such a Virtual Astronomical Pipeline (VAP) system which is running in the TAOS project. The software enables components in the pipeline to react to events encapsulated in XML messages, modifying and subsequently routing these messages to multiple other components. This architecture allows for the bootstrapping of components individually in the development process and for dynamic reconfiguration of the pipeline as a response to external and internal events. The software will be extended for future work in combining the results of surveys and followups into a global virtual pipeline.

  9. XEphem: Interactive Astronomical Ephemeris

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Downey, Elwood Charles

    2011-12-01

    XEphem is a scientific-grade interactive astronomical ephemeris package for UNIX-like systems. Written in C, X11 and Motif, it is easily ported to systems. Among other things, XEphem: computes heliocentric, geocentric and topocentric information for all objects; has built-in support for all planets; the moons of Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Earth; central meridian longitude of Mars and Jupiter; Saturn's rings; and Jupiter's Great Red Spot; allows user-defined objects including stars, deepsky objects, asteroids, comets and Earth satellites; provides special efficient handling of large catalogs including Tycho, Hipparcos, GSC; displays data in configurable tabular formats in conjunction with several interactive graphical views; displays a night-at-a-glance 24 hour graphic showing when any selected objects are up; displays 3-D stereo Solar System views that are particularly well suited for visualizing comet trajectories; quickly finds all close pairs of objects in the sky; and sorts and prints all catalogs with very flexible criteria for creating custom observing lists. Its capabilities are listed more fully in the user manual introduction.

  10. Computer version of astronomical ephemerides.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choliy, V. Ya.

    A computer version of astronomical ephemerides for bodies of the Solar System, stars, and astronomical phenomena was created at the Main Astronomical Observatory of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine and the Astronomy and Cosmic Physics Department of the Taras Shevchenko National University. The ephemerides will be distributed via INTERNET or in the file form. This information is accessible via the web servers space.ups.kiev.ua and alfven.ups.kiev.ua or the address choliy@astrophys.ups.kiev.ua.

  11. Ray-tracing the convex curved crystal X-ray spectrograph. [instrument design and data interpretation technique

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kastner, S. O.

    1979-01-01

    The convex curved crystal X-ray spectrograph has recently seen increasing use for the spectral analysis of transient plasmas. The present paper describes the calculation of ray paths through the spectrograph for both localized and extended sources. The method traces a ray from any given source point to its point of diffraction by the curved crystal and then to the imaging circle, where the image point is obtained. Application of the ray tracing method is made to some actual experimental configurations to obtain resolution values and source sizes. Wavelength calibrations are obtainable with the ray tracing method in advance of instrument construction.

  12. HETDEX: Optical Alignment Of The Virus Spectrographs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, Emily; Marshall, J.; Rheault, J.; DePoy, D.; Prochaska, T.; Allen, R.; Hill, G.; HETDEX Collaboration

    2012-01-01

    We present an optical alignment procedure for the Visible Integral-Field Replicable Unit Spectrograph (VIRUS) collimator. Texas A&M is helping to build the VIRUS spectrographs, designed in collaboration with The University of Texas at Austin. The Hobby Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment (HETDEX) will use as many as 192 units of this instrument to search for answers regarding Dark Energy. Texas A&M is currently assembling the collimators for VIRUS and designing alignment fixtures to aid in the assembly. We used ZEMAX models of VIRUS optics made by UT engineers to analyze various alignment methods we have considered. Our current plan uses two steps to properly align the collimator within the tolerance of 0.1-degrees. This will permit interchangeability among the various VIRUS parts.

  13. Multiple object spectroscopy - The Medusa spectrograph

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hill, J. M.; Angel, J. R. P.; Scott, J. S.; Lindley, D.; Hintzen, P.

    1980-01-01

    An instrument has been built to obtain simultaneous spectra of many objects in the field of view of the Steward 90 inch (2.29 m) telescope. Short lengths of fused silica fiber 300 microns in diameter are used to bring the light from galaxy images at the Cassegrain focus into a line along the spectrograph slit. From a single exposure of the cluster Abell 1904, which has a redshift of 20,000 km/s, the redshifts of 26 individual galaxies were determined, each with a precision of 100 km/s. The present device, while already giving a sixfold reduction in the mean telescope time per galaxy, has significant light losses because it is not ideally matched to the telescope. An instrument being designed for the prime focus will transmit light from each object as efficiently as a conventional spectrograph.

  14. Faint-object spectrograph optical bench

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Toth, J. M., Jr.; Lyon, R. L.

    1982-01-01

    The Faint-Object Spectrograph (FOS) is one of five scientific instruments under development for use with the Optical Telescope Assembly (OTA) of NASA's Space Telescope. It is a dual-channel spectrograph operating with two independent 512-channel pulse-counting Digicons. The FOS will be employed in connection with the study of scientific questions associated with quasars, active galaxies, normal distant and local group galaxies, a wide class of objects within the Milky Way Galaxy and neighboring galaxies, and objects within the solar system. The FOS contains an optical bench which supports all optical elements. Dimensional stability was the primary design requirement for the optical bench. This led to the selection of a graphite/epoxy structure using laminates with very low coefficients of thermal expansion and high stiffness. The technical requirements are considered and details of fabrication are discussed.

  15. The design of the WEAVE spectrograph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rogers, Kevin; Stuik, Remko; Steele, Iain A.; Pragt, Johan; Middleton, Kevin F.; Bates, Stuart; Kragt, Jan; Tromp, Niels; Lesman, Dirk; Lhomé, Emilie; Dalton, Gavin; Trager, Scott; Navarro, Ramon; Abrams, Don C.; Tosh, Ian; Jasko, Attila; Martin, Carlos; O'Mahony, Neil; Pico, Sergio; Cano Infantes, Diego; Bianca, Andrea; Delgado, Jose; Rodríguez, Luis F.

    2014-07-01

    WEAVE is the next-generation optical spectroscopy facility for the William Herschel Telescope and aims at spectroscopic follow-up of ground-based (LOFAR) and space-based (Gaia) surveys. WEAVE places in the re-fitted prime focus either 1000 fibres, 20 fibre-coupled mini-IFUs or a single large 600 fibre IFU. A spectrograph on the Nasmyth platform analyses the light and supports, in a single exposure, either R~5,000 observations over the full 366- 975 nm wavelength range or simultaneous R~20,000 observations over two out of three pre-specified bands within this wavelength range. This paper describes the requirements, optical design and mechanical design of the WEAVE spectrograph.

  16. The calibration unit and detector system tests for MUSE

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kelz, A.; Bauer, S. M.; Biswas, I.; Fechner, T.; Hahn, T.; Olaya, J.-C.; Popow, E.; Roth, M. M.; Streicher, O.; Weilbacher, P.; Bacon, R.; Laurent, F.; Laux, U.; Lizon, J. L.; Loupias, M.; Reiss, R.; Rupprecht, G.

    2010-07-01

    The Multi-Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE) is an integral-field spectrograph for the ESO Very Large Telescope. After completion of the Final Design Review in 2009, MUSE is now in its manufacture and assembly phase. To achieve a relative large field-of-view with fine spatial sampling, MUSE features 24 identical spectrograph-detector units. The acceptance tests of the detector sub-systems, the design and manufacture of the calibration unit and the development of the Data Reduction Software for MUSE are under the responsibility of the AIP. The optical design of the spectrograph implies strict tolerances on the alignment of the detector systems to minimize aberrations. As part of the acceptance testing, all 24 detector systems, developed by ESO, are mounted to a MUSE reference spectrograph, which is illuminated by a set of precision pinholes. Thus the best focus is determined and the image quality of the spectrograph-detector subsystem across wavelength and field angle is measured.

  17. Designing the optimal semi-warm NIR spectrograph for SALT via detailed thermal analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolf, Marsha J.; Sheinis, Andrew I.; Mulligan, Mark P.; Wong, Jeffrey P.; Rogers, Allen

    2008-07-01

    The near infrared (NIR) upgrade to the Robert Stobie Spectrograph (RSS) on the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT), RSS/NIR, extends the spectral coverage of all modes of the optical spectrograph. The RSS/NIR is a low to medium resolution spectrograph with broadband, spectropolarimetric, and Fabry-Perot imaging capabilities. The optical and NIR arms can be used simultaneously to extend spectral coverage from 3200 Å to approximately 1.6 μm. Both arms utilize high efficiency volume phase holographic gratings via articulating gratings and cameras. The NIR camera incorporates a HAWAII-2RG detector with an Epps optical design consisting of 6 spherical elements and providing subpixel rms image sizes of 7.5 +/- 1.0 μm over all wavelengths and field angles. The NIR spectrograph is semi-warm, sharing a common slit plane and partial collimator with the optical arm. A pre-dewar, cooled to below ambient temperature, houses the final NIR collimator optic, the grating/Fabry-Perot etalon, the polarizing beam splitter, and the first three camera optics. The last three camera elements, blocking filters, and detector are housed in a cryogenically cooled dewar. The semi-warm design concept has long been proposed as an economical way to extend optical instruments into the NIR, however, success has been very limited. A major portion of our design effort entails a detailed thermal analysis using non-sequential ray tracing to interactively guide the mechanical design and determine a truly realizable long wavelength cutoff over which astronomical observations will be sky-limited. In this paper we describe our thermal analysis, design concepts for the staged cooling scheme, and results to be incorporated into the overall mechanical design and baffling.

  18. A Spectrograph for BigBOSS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    CARTON, Pierre-Henri; Bebek, C.; Cazaux, S.; Ealet, A.; Eppelle, D.; Kneib, J.; Karst, P.; levi, M.; magneville, C.; Palanque-Delabrouille, N.; Ruhlmann-Kleider, V.; Schlegel, D.; Yeche, C.

    2012-01-01

    The Big-Boss spectrographs assembly will take in charge the light from the fiber output to the detector, including the optics, gratings, mechanics and cryostats. The 5000 fibers are split in 10 bundles of 500 ones. Each of these channel feed one spectrograph. The full bandwidth from 0.36µm to 1.05µm is split in 3 bands. Each channel is composed with one collimator (doublet lenses), a VPH grating, and a 6 lenses camera. The 500 fiber spectrum are imaged onto a 4kx4k detector thanks to the F/2 camera. Each fiber core is imaged onto 4 pixels. Each channel of the BigBOSS spectrograph will be equipped with a single-CCD camera, resulting in 30 cryostats in total for the instrument. Based on its experience of CCD cameras for projects like EROS and MegaCam, CEA/Saclay has designed small and autonomous cryogenic vessels which integrate cryo-cooling, CCD positioning and slow control interfacing capabilities. The use of a Linear Pulse Tube with its own control unit, both developed by Thales Cryogenics BV, will ensure versatility, reliability and operational flexibility. CCD's will be cooled down to 140K, with stability better than 1K. CCD's will be positioned within 15µm along the optical axis and 50µm in the XY Plan. Slow Control machines will be directly interfaced to an Ethernet network, which will allow them to be operated remotely. The concept of spectrograph leads to a very robust concept without any mechanics (except the shutters). This 30 channels has a impressive compactness with its 3m3 volume. The development of such number of channel will drive to a quasi mass production philosophy.

  19. Spectrograph Measures Contamination Of Optical Elements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Flint, Bruce K.; Fancy, Robert D.; Jarratt, Robert V., Jr.

    1989-01-01

    Scanning-monochromator spectrograph designed to measure contamination on surfaces of optical elements as function of time. Repeatedly exposes samples to environment, then measures their transmittances or reflectances over range of wavelengths. Intended for use at vacuum-ultraviolet wavelengths to evaluate effects of outgassing, heating, and cooling on optical instruments. Principle of operation also applicable to spectral monitoring of time-dependent contamination at other wavelengths and in laboratory, industrial, or other settings.

  20. KAOS: kilo-aperture optical spectrograph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barden, Samuel C.; Dey, Arjun; Boyle, Brian; Glazebrook, Karl

    2004-09-01

    A design is described for a potential new facility capable of taking detailed spectroscopy of millions of objects in the Universe to explore the complexity of the Universe and to answer fundamental questions relating to the equation of state of dark energy and to how the Milky Way galaxy formed. The specific design described is envisioned for implementation on the Gemini 8-meter telescopes. It utilizes a 1.5° field of view and samples that field with up to ~5000 apertures. This Kilo-Aperture Optical Spectrograph (KAOS) is mounted at prime focus with a 4-element corrector, atmospheric dispersion compensator (ADC), and an Echidna-style fiber optic positioner. The ADC doubles as a wobble plate, allowing fast guiding that cancels out the wind buffeting of the telescope. The fibers, which can be reconfigured in less than 10 minutes, feed to an array of 12 spectrographs located in the pier of the telescope. The spectrographs are capable of provided spectral resolving powers of a few thousand up to about 40,000.

  1. Astronomical Significance of Ancient Monuments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simonia, I.

    2011-06-01

    Astronomical significance of Gokhnari megalithic monument (eastern Georgia) is considered. Possible connection of Amirani ancient legend with Gokhnari monument is discussed. Concepts of starry practicality and solar stations are proposed.

  2. Islamic Astronomical Instruments and Observatories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heidarzadeh, Tofigh

    This chapter is a brief survey of astronomical instruments being used and developed in Islamic territories from the eighth to the fifteenth centuries as well as a concise account of major observatories and observational programs in this period.

  3. Sixteenth Century Astronomical Telescopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Usher, P. D.

    2001-12-01

    Ophelia in Shakespeare's Hamlet is named for the ``moist star" which in mythology is the partner of Hamlet's royal Sun. Together the couple seem destined to rule on earth just as their celestial counterparts rule the heavens, but the tragedy is that they are afflicted, just as the Sun and Moon are blemished. In 1.3 Laertes lectures Ophelia on love and chastity, describing first Cytherean phases (crescent to gibbous) and then Lunar craters. Spots mar the Sun (1.1, 3.1). Also reported are Jupiter's Red Spot (3.4) and the resolution of the Milky Way into stars (2.2). These interpretations are well-founded and support the cosmic allegory. Observations must have been made with optical aid, probably the perspective glass of Leonard Digges, father of Thomas Digges. Notably absent from Hamlet is mention of the Galilean moons, owing perhaps to the narrow field-of-view of the telescope. That discovery is later celebrated in Cymbeline, published soon after Galileo's Siderius Nuncius in 1610. In 5.4 of Cymbeline the four ghosts dance ``in imitation of planetary motions" and at Jupiter's behest place a book on the chest of Posthumus Leonatus. His name identifies the Digges father and son as the source of data in Hamlet since Jupiter's moons were discovered after the deaths of Leonard (``leon+hart") and Thomas (the ``lion's whelp"). Lines in 5.4 urge us not to read more into the book than is contained between its covers; this is understandable because Hamlet had already reported the other data in support of heliocentricism and the cosmic model discussed and depicted by Thomas Digges in 1576. I conclude therefore that astronomical telescopy began in England before the last quarter of the sixteenth century.

  4. Young Astronomers' Observe with ESO Telescopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1995-11-01

    somewhat similar to the Earth, but it is too cold for life as we know it, and because of its comparatively small size, the atmospheric pressure is very low. It would in principle be possible to detect the outermost planet with the HST, if the distance to this planetary system was less than about 30 light-years. Ireland: Mr. Declan MacCuarta (Teacher), Mr. Colm McLoughlin (St. Peter's College, Wexford, Co. Wexford) The nearest star, Alpha Centauri, is a double star and a hypothetical planetary system around the A-component, a solar-type star, is studied in some detail. The presence of the companion star makes some planetary orbits unstable. In this project, 4 planets are placed within 2 AU (300 million km) of the central star; 3 of these are terrestrial (no. 3 is Earth-like) and the outermost is a small gaseous planet. Cometary orbits may be very complex in this gravitatinal field. A planetary system like the one described may be barely observable with the Hubble Space Telescope, and only if one of the planets passes in front of the star (an `occultation') and its light diminishes accordingly. Italy: Mr. Pasquale Ciarletta, Ms. Francesca D'elia, Ms. Ada Fortugna (Teacher), Mr. Alfredo Pudano (Liceo Scientifico `Leonardo da Vinci', Reggio Calabria) This group built a spectrograph from scratch, with a grating and all the usual optical parts. They were able to calibrate the solar spectrum with the help of standard lamps and in this way, they observed several prominent, solar absorption lines. Among them were the H-alpha line at 6562 A, the sodium D-lines at 5890--96 And the magnesium triplet near 5175 A. These observations were made with the eye and also with the photographic recording technique. They were planning to observe the spectra of some stars also, but in the end time was too short and they had to hurry to send in the report. The Netherlands: Mr. Alex De Beer, Mr. KlAs Huijbregts, Mr. Ruud Nellen (Norbertuscollege, RosendAl) This team has designed their own planetary

  5. Interactive Astronomical Data Analysis Facility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Klinglesmith, D. A., III

    1980-01-01

    A description is given of the Interactive Astronomical Data Analysis Facility (IADAF) which performs interactive analysis of astronomical data for resident and visiting scientists. The facilities include a Grant measuring engine, a PDS 1010A microdensitometer, a COMTAL image display system and a PDP 11/40 computer system. Both hardware and software systems are examined, including a description of thirteen overlay programs. Some uses of the IADAF are indicated.

  6. Flat-fielding strategy for the JWST/NIRSpec multi-object spectrograph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rawle, T. D.; Alves de Oliveira, C.; Birkmann, S. M.; Boeker, T.; de Marchi, G.; Ferruit, P.; Giardino, G.; Luetzgendorf, N.; Sirianni, M.

    2016-07-01

    The Near-Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec) onboard the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will be the first space-borne Multi-Object Spectrograph (MOS), comprising a quarter of a million individually addressable microshutters to allow simultaneous observation of ˜100 targets. We present the strategy for flat-fielding the NIRSpec MOS, correcting for the combined effects of the telescope and instrument throughput as well as the detector response. With a highly configurable shutter array, a novel approach is required to ensure that flat- field reference observations do not significantly impact telescope efficiency. We envisage a two-step strategy: 1) Creation of a three-dimensional master flat-field reference (two spatial dimensions, one wavelength) from a small set of well-designed calibration data; 2) Correction of any data frame using a two-dimensional flat-field generated on-the-fly, for that specific MOS configuration, from the master.

  7. Enthusiastic Little Astronomers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Novak, Ines

    2016-04-01

    Younger primary school students often show great interest in the vast Universe hiding behind the starry night's sky, but don't have a way of learning about it and exploring it in regular classes. Some of them would search children's books, Internet or encyclopedias for information or facts they are interested in, but there are those whose hunger for knowledge would go unfulfilled. Such students were the real initiators of our extracurricular activity called Little Astronomers. With great enthusiasm they would name everything that interests them about the Universe that we live in and I would provide the information in a fun and interactive yet acceptable way for their level of understanding. In our class we learn about Earth and its place in the Solar System, we learn about the planets and other objects of our Solar System and about the Sun itself. We also explore the night sky using programs such as Stellarium, learning to recognize constellations and name them. Most of our activities are done using a PowerPoint presentation, YouTube videos, and Internet simulations followed by some practical work the students do themselves. Because of the lack of available materials and funds, most of materials are hand made by the teacher leading the class. We also use the school's galileoscope as often as possible. Every year the students are given the opportunity to go to an observatory in a town 90 km away so that they could gaze at the sky through the real telescope for the first time. Our goal is to start stepping into the world of astronomy by exploring the secrets of the Universe and understanding the process of rotation and revolution of our planet and its effects on our everyday lives and also to become more aware of our own role in our part of the Universe. The hunger for knowledge and enthusiasm these students have is contagious. They are becoming more aware of their surroundings and also understanding their place in the Universe that helps them remain humble and helps

  8. The New Amateur Astronomer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mobberley, Martin

    Amateur astronomy has changed beyond recognition in less than two decades. The reason is, of course, technology. Affordable high-quality telescopes, computer-controlled 'go to' mountings, autoguiders, CCD cameras, video, and (as always) computers and the Internet, are just a few of the advances that have revolutionized astronomy for the twenty-first century. Martin Mobberley first looks at the basics before going into an in-depth study of what’s available commercially. He then moves on to the revolutionary possibilities that are open to amateurs, from imaging, through spectroscopy and photometry, to patrolling for near-earth objects - the search for comets and asteroids that may come close to, or even hit, the earth. The New Amateur Astronomer is a road map of the new astronomy, equally suitable for newcomers who want an introduction, or old hands who need to keep abreast of innovations. From the reviews: "This is one of several dozen books in Patrick Moore's "Practical Astronomy" series. Amid this large family, Mobberley finds his niche: the beginning high-tech amateur. The book's first half discusses equipment: computer-driven telescopes, CCD cameras, imaging processing software, etc. This market is changing every bit as rapidly as the computer world, so these details will be current for only a year or two. The rest of the book offers an overview of scientific projects that serious amateurs are carrying out these days. Throughout, basic formulas and technical terms are provided as needed, without formal derivations. An appendix with useful references and Web sites is also included. Readers will need more than this book if they are considering a plunge into high-tech amateur astronomy, but it certainly will whet their appetites. Mobberley's most valuable advice will save the book's owner many times its cover price: buy a quality telescope from a reputable dealer and install it in a simple shelter so it can be used with as little set-up time as

  9. High-Dispersion CCD Astronomical Spectroscopy in an Undergraduate Lab

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ratcliff, S. J.; Ambuske, A. A.; Kono, S.; Lu, R.

    1994-05-01

    Experiments in high-dispersion spectroscopy are accessible to undergraduate students in astronomy, provided appropriate instrumentation is available. As part of a project to develop exercises, techniques, and instrumentation for astronomical spectroscopy, we have performed several experiments using a CCD camera as the detector, and with a combination of spectrograph configurations (both commercial and assembled from individual optical/mechanical components) and methods of light insertion (including relay mirrors and optical fibers). We show that the lack of a large telescope and of a commercial long-focal length spectrograph, both of which are expensive, is not an absolute impediment to the performance of these experiments. This work is therefore likely to be of interest to those who have CCD cameras but lack the other two instruments. The equipment also serves well for experiments in spectroscopy of laboratory sources, such as the Zeeman effect in mercury. This work was supported in part by NSF grant DUE-9252109, and in part by The Pew Charitable Trusts through a grant to the New England Consortium for Undergraduate Science Education.

  10. Astronomical spectra as powerful source for airglow studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kausch, W.; Noll, S.; Unterguggenberger, S.; Proxauf, B.; Kimeswenger, S.

    2015-03-01

    Light from astronomical objects has to pass the Earth's atmosphere before it reaches ground-based telescopes. Thus, any observation taken with such facilities contains information on the chemical composition and the physical state of the atmosphere. In particular, optical and near-infrared spectra taken with such telescopes are well suited to study various airglow emissions arising in the upper atmosphere thanks to the small field-of-view of the telescopes, large mirror sizes, and the frequent usage of medium to high resolution spectrographs. We study data taken by two frequently used echelle spectrographs from the Very Large Telescope (VLT) of the European Southern Observatory at Cerro Paranal (Chile): UVES, operative since 1999, is a high-resolution (20000 R 110000) instrument covering the wavelength range from 300 to 1100 nm. Hence, several O2 band systems (Herzberg I+II, Chamberlain, atmospheric), the green and red OI lines ( 557 nm; 630 nm), the recently discovered FeO bands ( 550 to 720 nm), NaID ( 589 nm), and all hydroxyl bands up to OH(3-0) can be investigated. The high temporal coverage allows investigations for more than one solar cycle. The X-Shooter instrument is an echelle spectrograph which is able to take medium-resolution (3000 R 18000) spectra from 300 to 2480 nm within one shot. Therefore, it is well suited for a comprehensive study of OH, as it covers all bands with a vibrational level difference 2 (up to OH(9-7)) simultaneously, apart from the previously mentioned other lines and bands. X-Shooter was put into operation in 2009. In this presentation, we will give a review on the available spectra, their quality and time coverage. Moreover, we will illustrate the potential of the data for airglow studies by showing results

  11. Upgrade of the area II spectrograph

    SciTech Connect

    Rehm, K.E.; Bolduc, C.

    1995-08-01

    Because of the low beam energies required for experiments of astrophysical interest, the first test experiments with radioactive {sup 18}F beams can be performed in Area II. Because of the shorter distances between ion source and detector this also results in higher transmission efficiencies. The Enge split-pole spectrograph, which was not used during the last 8 years, was equipped with a new cryopump system, upgrades to the magnet power supply and the NMR system were performed. A rotating target system was built which should alleviate target deterioration effects that were observed in first test experiments.

  12. New soft x-ray emission spectrograph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carson, R. D.; Franck, C. P.; Schnatterly, S.; Zutavern, F.

    1984-12-01

    We have built a new soft x-ray emission spectrograph covering the photon energy range 20-800 eV. It incorporates toroidal holographic grazing incidence diffraction gratings and a position-sensitive photodiode array as a detector. The detector electronics are remote from the array which is under vacuum at nitrogen temperature, and features a double-correlated sampling scheme. The sample is excited with a Pierce-type electron gun using a quadrupole focusing lens. The performance of the instrument is described.

  13. Exact optics - III. Schwarzschild's spectrograph camera revised

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Willstrop, R. V.

    2004-03-01

    Karl Schwarzschild identified a system of two mirrors, each defined by conic sections, free of third-order spherical aberration, coma and astigmatism, and with a flat focal surface. He considered it impractical, because the field was too restricted. This system was rediscovered as a quadratic approximation to one of Lynden-Bell's `exact optics' designs which have wider fields. Thus the `exact optics' version has a moderate but useful field, with excellent definition, suitable for a spectrograph camera. The mirrors are strongly aspheric in both the Schwarzschild design and the exact optics version.

  14. Instrumental profile of the Debrecen solar spectrograph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murakozy, J.; Vince, I.; Ludmany, A.

    The solar spectrograph of the Heliophysical Observatory at Debrecen, Hungary, was investigated to determine its instrumental profile. The measurements were made by using a HeNe laser beam. The widths and asymmetries of the profiles decrease toward higher spectral orders, the most advantageous orders being the third and the fourth ones. To eliminate the broadening of solar lines on account of the instrumental profile, the straightforward iteration method of Gurtovenko has been applied. The efficiency of the method is demonstrated by the simulation of the broadened and corrected spectral line profiles.

  15. The Management of Astronomical Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Norris, R. P.

    2006-08-01

    Astronomy has a distinguished tradition of using technology to accelerate the quality and effectiveness of science. However, amongst the shining examples of excellent data management by major projects lie examples of projects and institutions where data management has not been properly resourced, or where hard-earned data remain inaccessible to most astronomers. We need to establish and agree on a set of guiding principles for the management of astronomical data. For example, all OECD governments, representing nearly all countries with major astronomical facilities, have committed to the principle that publicly-funded data should be placed in the public domain. The last IAU GA in Sydney passed a resolution that archive data from publicly funded observatories should be placed in the public domain. The HST archive, which quadruples the number of science publications resulting from HST data, has demonstrated the value to science of doing so. And yet many observatory archives are still inaccessible. Another example is the barrier between journals and data centres. The astronomical data centres are enormously successful, and provide powerful tools which have accelerated the advance of science, and some of our journals are forward-looking and receptive to new ideas. And yet most data published in those journals never appear in the data centres. These two examples show that we are not making most effective use of our data, and consequently are not extracting the maximum scientific value from our observatories and astronomers. The Virtual Observatory promises us tools to provide better access to data, but these tools lose their value if the data are not available. It is time for the astronomical community to adopt a professional approach to data management, to maximise the science that can be achieved with our new and existing facilities.

  16. The Goddard High Resolution Spectrograph Scientific Support Contract

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    In 1988, Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) was selected as the Goddard High Resolution Spectrograph (GHRS) Scientific Support Contractor (SSC). This was to have been a few months before the launch of NASA's first Great Observatory, the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). As one of five scientific instruments on HST, the GHRS was designed to obtain spectra in the 1050-3300 A ultraviolet wavelength region with a resolving power, lambda/Delta(lambda) , of up to 100,000 and relative photometric accuracy to 1%. It was built by Ball AeroSpace Systems Group under the guidance of the GHRS Investigation Definition Team (IDT), comprised of 16 scientists from the US and Canada. After launch, the IDT was to perform the initial instrument calibration and execute a broad scientific program during a five-year Guaranteed Time Observation (GTO) period. After a year's delay, the launch of HST occurred in April 1990, and CSC participated in the in-orbit calibration and first four years of GTO observations with the IDT. The HST primary mirror suffered from spherical aberration, which reduced the spatial and spectral resolution of Large Science Aperture (LSA) observations and decreased the throughput of the Small Science Aperture (SSA) by a factor of two. Periodic problems with the Side 1 carrousel electronics and anomalies with the low-voltage power supply finally resulted in a suspension of the use of Side 1 less than two years after launch. At the outset, the GHRS SSC task involved work in four areas: 1) to manage and operate the GHRS Data Analysis Facility (DAF); 2) to support the second Servicing Mission Observatory Verification (SMOV) program, as well as perform system engineering analysis of the GHRS as nesessary; 3) to assist the GHRS IDT with their scientific research programs, particularly the GSFC members of the team, and 4) to provide administrative and logistic support for GHRS public information and educational activities.

  17. LRS2: A New Integral Field Spectrograph for the HET

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tuttle, Sarah E.; Hill, Gary J.; Chonis, Taylor S.; Tonnesen, Stephanie

    2016-01-01

    Here we present LRS2 (Low Resolution Spectrograph) and highlight early science opportunities with the newly upgraded Hobby Eberly telescope (HET). LRS2 is a four-channel optical wavelength (370nm - 1micron) spectrograph based on two VIRUS unit spectrographs. This fiber-fed integral field spectrograph covers a 12" x 6" field of view, switched between the two units (one blue, and one red) at R~2000. We highlight design elements, including the fundamental modification to grisms (from VPH gratings in VIRUS) to access the higher resolution. We discuss early science opportunities, including investigating nearby "blue-bulge" spiral galaxies and their anomalous star formation distribution.

  18. The deterministic optical alignment of the HERMES spectrograph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gers, Luke; Staszak, Nicholas

    2014-07-01

    The High Efficiency and Resolution Multi Element Spectrograph (HERMES) is a four channel, VPH-grating spectrograph fed by two 400 fiber slit assemblies whose construction and commissioning has now been completed at the Anglo Australian Telescope (AAT). The size, weight, complexity, and scheduling constraints of the system necessitated that a fully integrated, deterministic, opto-mechanical alignment system be designed into the spectrograph before it was manufactured. This paper presents the principles about which the system was assembled and aligned, including the equipment and the metrology methods employed to complete the spectrograph integration.

  19. Field Raman Spectrograph for Environmental Analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Sylvia, J.M.; Haas, J.W.; Spencer, K.M.; Carrabba, M.M.; Rauh, R.D.; Forney, R.W.; Johnston, T.M.

    1998-07-01

    The widespread contamination found across the US Department of Energy (DOE) complex has received considerable attention from the government and public alike. A massive site characterization and cleanup effort has been underway for several years and is expected to continue for several decades more. The scope of the cleanup effort ranges from soil excavation and treatment to complete dismantling and decontamination of whole buildings. To its credit, DOE has supported research and development of new technologies to speed up and reduce the cost of this effort. One area in particular has been the development of portable instrumentation that can be used to perform analytical measurements in the field. This approach provides timely data to decision makers and eliminates the expense, delays, and uncertainties of sample preservation, transport, storage, and laboratory analysis. In this program, we have developed and demonstrated in the field a transportable, high performance Raman spectrograph that can be used to detect and identify contaminants in a variety of scenarios. With no moving parts, the spectrograph is rugged and can perform many Raman measurements in situ with flexible fiber optic sampling probes. The instrument operates under computer control and a software package has been developed to collect and process spectral data. A collection of Raman spectra for 200 contaminants of DOE importance has been compiled in a searchable format to assist in the identification of unknown contaminants in the field.

  20. Temperature control system for optical elements in astronomical instrumentation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Verducci, Orlando; de Oliveira, Antonio C.; Ribeiro, Flávio F.; Vital de Arruda, Márcio; Gneiding, Clemens D.; Fraga, Luciano

    2014-07-01

    Extremely low temperatures may damage the optical components assembled inside of an astronomical instrument due to the crack in the resin or glue used to attach lenses and mirrors. The environment, very cold and dry, in most of the astronomical observatories contributes to this problem. This paper describes the solution implemented at SOAR for remotely monitoring and controlling temperatures inside of a spectrograph, in order to prevent a possible damage of the optical parts. The system automatically switches on and off some heat dissipation elements, located near the optics, as the measured temperature reaches a trigger value. This value is set to a temperature at which the instrument is not operational to prevent malfunction and only to protect the optics. The software was developed with LabVIEWTM and based on an object-oriented design that offers flexibility and ease of maintenance. As result, the system is able to keep the internal temperature of the instrument above a chosen limit, except perhaps during the response time, due to inertia of the temperature. This inertia can be controlled and even avoided by choosing the correct amount of heat dissipation and location of the thermal elements. A log file records the measured temperature values by the system for operation analysis.

  1. Creating Data that Never Die: Building a Spectrograph Data Pipeline in the Virtual Observatory Era

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mink, D. J.; Wyatt, W. F.; Roll, J. B.; Tokarz, S. P.; Conroy, M. A.; Caldwell, N.; Kurtz, M.; Geller, M. J.

    2005-12-01

    Data pipelines for modern complex astronomical instruments do not begin when the data is taken and end when it is delivered to the user. Information must flow between the observatory and the observer from the time a project is conceived and between the observatory and the world well past the time when the original observers have extracted all the information they want from the data. For the 300-fiber Hectospec low dispersion spectrograph on the MMT, the SAO Telescope Data Center is constructing a data pipeline which provides assistance from preparing and submitting observing proposals through observation, reduction, and analysis to publication and an afterlife in the Virtual Observatory. We will describe our semi-automatic pipeline and how it has evolved over the first nine months of operation.

  2. Toward accurate radial velocities with the fiber-fed GIRAFFE multi-object VLT spectrograph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Royer, Frederic; Blecha, Andre; North, Pierre; Simond, Gilles; Baratchart, Sebastien; Cayatte, Veronique; Chemin, Laurent; Palsa, Ralf

    2002-12-01

    We describe briefly the Data-Reduction of the VLT fiber-fed multi-object GIRAFFE spectrograph - part of the VLT FLAMES facility. We focus on specific features of GIRAFFE - the simultaneous wavelength calibration - and their impact on the data-reduction strategy. We describe the implementation of the global physical model and we compare the results obtained with the simulated, laboratory and preliminary data. We discuss the influence of critical parameters, the overall accuracy of the wavelength solution, and the stability and the robustness of the global model approach. We address the accuracy of radial velocity measurements illustrated by solar spectra obtained during the Preliminary Acceptance in Europe.

  3. The control unit of the near infrared spectrograph of the EUCLID space mission: preliminary design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toledo-Moreo, Rafael; Colodro-Conde, Carlos; Díaz-García, José Javier; Tubío-Araujo, Óscar Manuel; Gómez-Sáenz, Jaime; Peña-Godino, Antonio; Velasco-Fernández, Tirso; Sánchez-Prieto, Sebastián.; Villó-Pérez, Isidro; Rebolo-López, Rafael

    2014-08-01

    The Near Infrared Spectrograph and Photometer (NISP) is one of the instruments on board the ESA EUCLID mission. The Universidad Politecnica de Cartagena and Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias are responsible of the Instrument Control Unit of the NISP (NI-ICU) in the Euclid Consortium. The NI-ICU main functions are: communication with the S/C and the Data Processing Unit, control of the Filter and Grism Wheels, control of the Calibration Unit and thermal control of the instrument. This paper presents the NI-ICU status of definition and design at the end of the preliminary design phase.

  4. Design, construction, and implementation of a ground-based solar spectrograph for the National Student Solar Spectrograph Competition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keeler, E.; Moen, D.; Peck, C.; Zimny, C.; Repasky, K.

    2012-10-01

    A solar spectrograph is an instrument that takes incoming sunlight over a specified portion of the sun's emitted electromagnetic spectrum and separates the light into its constituent frequency components, or spectrum. The components are then sent to a detector that measures intensity, which reveals the location of spectral properties of the light such as absorption and emission lines. The National Student Solar Spectrograph Competition (NSSSC) is a Montana Space Grant Consortium sponsored competition where undergraduate student teams from across the country design, build, and implement a ground-based solar spectrograph to perform any solar related task and demonstrate their spectrographs for the competition in May 2012 in Bozeman, MT. Each team is given a 2,000-dollar budget to build their spectrograph, which cannot be exceeded, and all spectrographs must follow regulations in the NSSSC guidelines. This team designed a spectrograph to be capable of imaging the sun across the visible spectrum using spatial filters and a standard photo detector rather than a traditional charge-coupled device due to budget limitations. The spectrograph analyzes the spectrum of small sections of the sun to determine how the spectrum varies across solar features such as the corona, active regions, and quiet regions. In addition to solar imaging, the spectrograph will also analyze atmospheric absorption of the solar spectrum by comparing the measured spectrum to the theoretical spectrum calculated from the blackbody equation.

  5. The use of object-oriented techniques and CORBA in astronomical instrumentation control systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dipper, Nigel A.; Blackburn, Colin

    2004-09-01

    Control software for astronomy matches the ever increasing complexity of new large instrumentation projects. In order to speed the development cycle, object-oriented techniques have been used to generate loosely coupled software objects and larger scale components that can be reused in future projects. Such object-oriented systems provide for short development cycles which can respond to changing requirements and allow for extension. The Unified Modeling Language (UML) has been used for the analysis, design and implementation of this software. A distributed system is supported by the use of an object broker such as CORBA. These techniques are being applied to the development of an instrument control system for the UK spectrograph within FMOS (Fiber-fed Multi-Object Spectrograph). This is a second generation instrument for the Subaru Telescope of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan.

  6. Australian sites of astronomical heritage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stevenson, T.; Lomb, N.

    2015-03-01

    The heritage of astronomy in Australia has proven an effective communication medium. By interpreting science as a social and cultural phenomenon new light is thrown on challenges, such as the dispersal of instruments and problems identifying contemporary astronomy heritage. Astronomers are asked to take note and to consider the communication of astronomy now and in the future through a tangible heritage legacy.

  7. John Couch Adams, the astronomer.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foster, N.

    1989-03-01

    The planet Neptune was discovered more than 140 years ago. The circumstances of the discovery gave rise to great controversy, and very nearly led to an international incident between Britain and France, but this was only one of John Couch Adams' many contributions to astronomical science.

  8. Astronomical Photography for the Classroom.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hulme, Kenneth S.

    1981-01-01

    Describes class projects involving astronomical photography. Includes a description of how to make an astrocamera or convert a pocket camera into one suitable for astrophotography, film choices, and phenomena to photograph, such as star trails, meteors, the sun, and the moon. (DS)

  9. Advanced prism-grating-prism imaging spectrograph in online industrial applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vaarala, Tapio; Aikio, Mauri; Keraenen, Heimo

    1997-08-01

    Imaging spectrographs have traditionally been utilized in aerial and remote sensing applications. A novel, compact and inexpensive imaging spectrograph developed by VTT Electronics is now available. It contains a multichannel fiber optic sensor head, a dispersive prism-grating-prism (PGP) component and digital CCD matrix camera capable of area integration. In rolled steel manufacturing, a protective oil film is applied on steel to resist corrosion while in transport and storage. The main problems in the oiling machine are film thickness control and jet failures. In this application, the spectrum of fluorescence of an oil film was measured simultaneously with parallel fibers. A relatively simple calibration and analysis procedure was used to calculate the oil film thickness. On-line color control for color reproduction is essential in both consumer and industrial products. The instrument was tested and analyzed for measuring differences in color by multivariate analysis of the spectra and by color space coordinate estimation. In general, a continuous spectrum is not absolute requirement. In these two examples, filter-based measurement would probably cost less thana PGP spectrograph solution. On the other hand, by measuring the spectrum and using an advanced signal processing algorithm one production version will cover all installations in both applications. In practice, only the fiber sensor mechanics need to be modified.

  10. Introducing CUBES: the Cassegrain U-band Brazil-ESO spectrograph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bristow, Paul; Barbuy, Beatriz; Macanhan, Vanessa B.; Castilho, Bruno; Dekker, Hans; Delabre, Bernard; Diaz, Marcos; Gneiding, Clemens; Kerber, Florian; Kuntschner, Harald; La Mura, Giovanni; Reiss, Roland; Vernet, J.

    2014-07-01

    CUBES is a high-efficiency, medium-resolution (R ≃ 20, 000) spectrograph dedicated to the "ground based UV" (approximately the wavelength range from 300 to 400nm) destined for the Cassegrain focus of one of ESO's VLT unit telescopes in 2018/19. The CUBES project is a joint venture between ESO and Instituto de Astronomia, Geofísica e Ciências Atmosféricas (IAG) at the Universidade de São Paulo and the Brazilian Laboratório Nacional de Astrofísica (LNA). CUBES will provide access to a wealth of new and relevant information for stellar as well as extra-galactic sources. Principle science cases include the study of heavy elements in metal-poor stars, the direct determination of carbon, nitrogen and oxygen abundances by study of molecular bands in the UV range and the determination of the Beryllium abundance as well as the study of active galactic nuclei and the inter-galactic medium. With a streamlined modern instrument design, high efficiency dispersing elements and UV-sensitive detectors, it will enable a significant gain in sensitivity over existing ground based medium-high resolution spectrographs enabling vastly increased sample sizes accessible to the astronomical community. We present here a brief overview of the project, introducing the science cases that drive the design and discussing the design options and technological challenges.

  11. Spectroscopic Survey of Eclipsing Binaries with a Low-cost Echelle Spectrograph: Scientific Commissioning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kozłowski, S. K.; Konacki, M.; Sybilski, P.; Ratajczak, M.; Pawłaszek, R. K.; Hełminiak, K. G.

    2016-07-01

    We present scientific results obtained with a recently commissioned échelle spectrograph on the 0.5 m Solaris-1 telescope in the South African Astronomical Observatory. BACHES is a low-cost slit échelle spectrograph that has a resolution of 21,000 at 5500 Å. The described setup is fully remotely operated and partly automated. Custom hardware components have been designed to allow both spectroscopic and photometric observations. The setup is controlled via dedicated software. The throughput of the system allows us to obtain spectra with an average signal-to-noise ratio of 22 at 6375 Å for a 30 minute exposure of a V = 10 mag target. The stability of the instrument is influenced mainly by the ambient temperature changes. We have obtained radial velocity (RV) rms values for a bright (V = 5.9 mag) spectroscopic binary as good as 0.59 and 1.34 km s‑1 for a V = 10.2 mag eclipsing binary. RV measurements have been combined with available photometric light curves. We present models of six eclipsing binary systems, and for previously known targets, we compare our results with those available in the literature. Masses of binary components have been determined with 3% errors for some targets. We confront our results with benchmark values based on measurements from the HARPS and UCLES spectrographs on 4 m class telescopes and find very good agreement. The described setup is very efficient and well suited for a spectroscopic survey. We can now spectroscopically characterize about 300 eclipsing binary stars per year up to 10.2 mag assuming typical weather conditions at SAAO without a single observing trip.

  12. Spectroscopic Survey of Eclipsing Binaries with a Low-cost Echelle Spectrograph: Scientific Commissioning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kozłowski, S. K.; Konacki, M.; Sybilski, P.; Ratajczak, M.; Pawłaszek, R. K.; Hełminiak, K. G.

    2016-07-01

    We present scientific results obtained with a recently commissioned échelle spectrograph on the 0.5 m Solaris-1 telescope in the South African Astronomical Observatory. BACHES is a low-cost slit échelle spectrograph that has a resolution of 21,000 at 5500 Å. The described setup is fully remotely operated and partly automated. Custom hardware components have been designed to allow both spectroscopic and photometric observations. The setup is controlled via dedicated software. The throughput of the system allows us to obtain spectra with an average signal-to-noise ratio of 22 at 6375 Å for a 30 minute exposure of a V = 10 mag target. The stability of the instrument is influenced mainly by the ambient temperature changes. We have obtained radial velocity (RV) rms values for a bright (V = 5.9 mag) spectroscopic binary as good as 0.59 and 1.34 km s-1 for a V = 10.2 mag eclipsing binary. RV measurements have been combined with available photometric light curves. We present models of six eclipsing binary systems, and for previously known targets, we compare our results with those available in the literature. Masses of binary components have been determined with 3% errors for some targets. We confront our results with benchmark values based on measurements from the HARPS and UCLES spectrographs on 4 m class telescopes and find very good agreement. The described setup is very efficient and well suited for a spectroscopic survey. We can now spectroscopically characterize about 300 eclipsing binary stars per year up to 10.2 mag assuming typical weather conditions at SAAO without a single observing trip.

  13. HESP: Instrument control, calibration and pipeline development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anantha, Ch.; Roy, Jayashree; Mahesh, P. K.; Parihar, P. S.; Sangal, A. K.; Sriram, S.; Anand, M. N.; Anupama, G. C.; Giridhar, S.; Prabhu, T. P.; Sivarani, T.; Sundararajan, M. S.

    Hanle Echelle SPectrograph (HESP) is a fibre-fed, high resolution (R = 30,000 and 60,000) spectrograph being developed for the 2m HCT telescope at IAO, Hanle. The major components of the instrument are a) Cassegrain unit b) Spectrometer instrument. An instrument control system interacting with a guiding unit at Cassegrain interface as well as handling spectrograph functions is being developed. An on-axis auto-guiding using the spill-over angular ring around the input pinhole is also being developed. The stellar light from the Cassegrain unit is taken to the spectrograph using an optical fiber which is being characterized for spectral transmission, focal ratio degradation and scrambling properties. The design of the thermal enclosure and thermal control for the spectrograph housing is presented. A data pipeline for the entire Echelle spectral reduction is being developed. We also plan to implement an instrument physical model based calibration into the main data pipeline and in the maintenance and quality control operations.

  14. Engaging Students through Astronomically Inspired Music

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Whitehouse, M.

    2011-09-01

    This paper describes a lesson outline in which astronomically inspired musical compositions are used to teach astronomical concepts via an introductory activity, close listening, and critical/creative reflection.

  15. Field Raman spectrograph for environmental analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Haas, J.W. III; Forney, R.W.; Carrabba, M.M.; Rauh, R.D.

    1995-12-01

    The enormous cost for chemical analysis at DOE facilities predicates that cost-saving measures be implemented. Many approaches, ranging from increasing laboratory sample throughput by reducing preparation time to the development of field instrumentation, are being explored to meet this need. Because of the presence of radioactive materials at many DOE sites, there is also a need for methods that are safer for site personnel and analysts. This project entails the development of a compact Raman spectrograph for field screening and monitoring of a wide variety of wastes, pollutants, and corrosion products in storage tanks, soils, and ground and surface waters. Analytical advantages of the Raman technique include its ability to produce a unique, spectral fingerprint for each contaminant and its ability to analyze both solids and liquids directly, without the need for isolation or cleanup.

  16. Aries x ray objective grating spectrograph

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Catura, R. C.

    1991-01-01

    This investigation was initiated in June of 1983. An Aries payload involving a single Wolter 1 telescope was developed and flown under a previous contract and the objective of this work was to add two additional mirrors, nested inside of the then existing mirror and add 12 objective reflection gratings to convert the telescope into a spectrograph. A summary of major milestones in the investigation are given. Results of efforts under this contract prior to 1987 are presented in the form of four reprints of published papers attached to this report. Results of the gamma-ray research are also included in the form of an attached reprint. A summary of other work under the contract since 1987 is given.

  17. Near ultraviolet spectrograph for balloon platform

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sreejith, A. G.; Safonova, Margarita; Murthy, Jayant

    2015-06-01

    Small and compact scientific payloads may be easily designed constructed and own on high altitude balloons. Despite the fact that large orbital observatories provide accurate observations and statistical studies of remote and/or faint space sources, small telescopes on board balloons or rockets are still attractive because of their low cost and rapid response time. We describe here a near ultraviolet (NUV) spectrograph designed to be own on a high{altitude balloon platform. Our basic optical design is a modified Czerny-Turner system using off the shelf optics. We compare different methods of aberration corrections in such a system. We intend the system to be portable and scalable to different telescopes. The use of reflecting optics reduces the transmission loss in UV. We plan on using an image intensified CMOS sensor operating in photon counting mode as the detector of choice.

  18. A high resolution ultraviolet Shuttle glow spectrograph

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carruthers, George R.

    1993-01-01

    The High Resolution Shuttle Glow Spectrograph-B (HRSGS-B) is a small payload being developed by the Naval Research Laboratory. It is intended for study of shuttle surface glow in the 180-400 nm near- and middle-ultraviolet wavelength range, with a spectral resolution of 0.2 nm. It will search for, among other possible features, the band systems of excited NO which result from surface-catalyzed combination of N and O. It may also detect O2 Hertzberg bands and N2 Vegard-Kaplan bands resulting from surface recombination. This wavelength range also includes possible N2+ and OH emissions. The HRSGS-B will be housed in a Get Away Special canister, mounted in the shuttle orbiter payload bay, and will observe the glow on the tail of the orbiter.

  19. Fiber feed for the CFHT Gecko spectrograph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baudrand, Jacques; Vitry, Rene

    2000-08-01

    Motivated by a strong concern to keep maintenance work as low as possible the direction of the CFHT had for some times contemplated the possibility to replace the original mirror train f/20 focus feeding their Gecko High Resolution Coude Spectrograph by a more convenient fiber link coupled to the f/8 Cassegrain focus. A decision supporting that idea was ultimately taken two years ago and our group at the OPM was contacted to build such a system according to precise specifications. This telescope facility, baptized CAFÉ for Cassegrain Fiber Environment, has now arrived to near completion and we are able to present here its main characteristics and the technical solutions that were adopted to meet the CFHT requirements and to provide the system with the best performances in terms of robustness and efficiency.

  20. Fiber Scrambling for High Precision Spectrographs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaplan, Zachary; Spronck, J. F. P.; Fischer, D.

    2011-05-01

    The detection of Earth-like exoplanets with the radial velocity method requires extreme Doppler precision and long-term stability in order to measure tiny reflex velocities in the host star. Recent planet searches have led to the detection of so called "super-Earths” (up to a few Earth masses) that induce radial velocity changes of about 1 m/s. However, the detection of true Earth analogs requires a precision of 10 cm/s. One of the largest factors limiting Doppler precision is variation in the Point Spread Function (PSF) from observation to observation due to changes in the illumination of the slit and spectrograph optics. Thus, this stability has become a focus of current instrumentation work. Fiber optics have been used since the 1980's to couple telescopes to high-precision spectrographs, initially for simpler mechanical design and control. However, fiber optics are also naturally efficient scramblers. Scrambling refers to a fiber's ability to produce an output beam independent of input. Our research is focused on characterizing the scrambling properties of several types of fibers, including circular, square and octagonal fibers. By measuring the intensity distribution after the fiber as a function of input beam position, we can simulate guiding errors that occur at an observatory. Through this, we can determine which fibers produce the most uniform outputs for the severest guiding errors, improving the PSF and allowing sub-m/s precision. However, extensive testing of fibers of supposedly identical core diameter, length and shape from the same manufacturer has revealed the "personality” of individual fibers. Personality describes differing intensity patterns for supposedly duplicate fibers illuminated identically. Here, we present our results on scrambling characterization as a function of fiber type, while studying individual fiber personality.

  1. Astronomical Heritage in the National Culture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harutyunian, H. A.; Mickaelian, A. M.; Parsamian, E. S.

    2014-10-01

    The book contains Proceedings of the Archaeoastronomical Meeting "Astronomical Heritage in the National Culture" Dedicated to Anania Shirakatsi's 1400th Anniversary and XI Annual Meeting of the Armenian Astronomical Society. It consists of 3 main sections: "Astronomical Heritage", "Anania Shirakatsi" and "Modern Astronomy", as well as Literature about Anania Shirakatsi is included. The book may be interesting for astronomers, historians, archaeologists, linguists, students and other readers.

  2. Time-calibrated Milankovitch cycles for the late Permian.

    PubMed

    Wu, Huaichun; Zhang, Shihong; Hinnov, Linda A; Jiang, Ganqing; Feng, Qinglai; Li, Haiyan; Yang, Tianshui

    2013-01-01

    An important innovation in the geosciences is the astronomical time scale. The astronomical time scale is based on the Milankovitch-forced stratigraphy that has been calibrated to astronomical models of paleoclimate forcing; it is defined for much of Cenozoic-Mesozoic. For the Palaeozoic era, however, astronomical forcing has not been widely explored because of lack of high-precision geochronology or astronomical modelling. Here we report Milankovitch cycles from late Permian (Lopingian) strata at Meishan and Shangsi, South China, time calibrated by recent high-precision U-Pb dating. The evidence extends empirical knowledge of Earth's astronomical parameters before 250 million years ago. Observed obliquity and precession terms support a 22-h length-of-day. The reconstructed astronomical time scale indicates a 7.793-million year duration for the Lopingian epoch, when strong 405-kyr cycles constrain astronomical modelling. This is the first significant advance in defining the Palaeozoic astronomical time scale, anchored to absolute time, bridging the Palaeozoic-Mesozoic transition.

  3. Ultraviolet compatibility tests of lens coupling fluids used in astronomical instrumentation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nordsieck, Kenneth; Nosan, Frenk; Schier, J. Alan

    2010-07-01

    We report on extensive laboratory testing of the optical compatibility of immersion fluids often used in astronomical instrumentation. A strong near-ultraviolet absorption feature is seen after incubating several fluids with polyurethane often used in expansion bladders, and a lesser absorption in the farther UV with Viton O-Ring material. Substitute materials were tested, many of which show no such absorption. This program was started in response to a strong UV feature which developed over time in the Robert Stobie Spectrograph of the Southern African Large Telescope. A repair strategy was successfully implemented.

  4. Most Efficient Spectrograph to Shoot the Southern Skies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2009-05-01

    -shooter, for a total of 350 observing nights, making it the second most requested instrument at the Very Large Telescope in this period. More information ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) is the world's most advanced optical instrument. It is an ensemble of four 8.2-metre telescopes located at the Paranal Observatory on an isolated mountain peak in the Atacama Desert in North Chile. The four 8.2-metre telescopes have a total of 12 focal stations where different instruments for imaging and spectroscopic observations are installed and a special station where the light of the four telescopes is combined for interferometric observations. The first VLT instrument was installed in 1998 and has been followed by 12 more in the last 10 years, distributed at the different focal stations. X-shooter is the first of the second generation of VLT instruments and replaces the workhorse-instrument FORS1, which has been successfully used for more than ten years by hundreds of astronomers. X-shooter operates at the Cassegrain focus of the Kueyen telescope (UT2). In response to an ESO Call for Proposals for second generation VLT instrumentation, ESO received three proposals for an intermediate resolution, high efficiency spectrograph. These were eventually merged into a single proposal around the present concept of X-shooter, which was approved for construction in November 2003. The Final Design Review, at which the instrument design is finalised and declared ready for construction, took place in April 2006. The first observations with the instrument at the telescope in its full configuration were on 14 March 2009. X-shooter is a joint project by Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands and ESO. The collaborating institutes in Denmark are the Niels Bohr and the DARK Institutes of the University of Copenhagen and the National Space Institute (Technical University of Denmark); in France GEPI at the Observatoire de Paris and APC at the Université D. Diderot, with contributions from the CEA and the

  5. Observatory Sponsoring Astronomical Image Contest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2005-05-01

    Forget the headphones you saw in the Warner Brothers thriller Contact, as well as the guttural throbs emanating from loudspeakers at the Very Large Array in that 1997 movie. In real life, radio telescopes aren't used for "listening" to anything - just like visible-light telescopes, they are used primarily to make images of astronomical objects. Now, the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) wants to encourage astronomers to use radio-telescope data to make truly compelling images, and is offering cash prizes to winners of a new image contest. Radio Galaxy Fornax A Radio Galaxy Fornax A Radio-optical composite image of giant elliptical galaxy NGC 1316, showing the galaxy (center), a smaller companion galaxy being cannibalized by NGC 1316, and the resulting "lobes" (orange) of radio emission caused by jets of particles spewed from the core of the giant galaxy Click on image for more detail and images CREDIT: Fomalont et al., NRAO/AUI/NSF "Astronomy is a very visual science, and our radio telescopes are capable of producing excellent images. We're sponsoring this contest to encourage astronomers to make the extra effort to turn good images into truly spectacular ones," said NRAO Director Fred K.Y. Lo. The contest, offering a grand prize of $1,000, was announced at the American Astronomical Society's meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The image contest is part of a broader NRAO effort to make radio astronomical data and images easily accessible and widely available to scientists, students, teachers, the general public, news media and science-education professionals. That effort includes an expanded image gallery on the observatory's Web site. "We're not only adding new radio-astronomy images to our online gallery, but we're also improving the organization and accessibility of the images," said Mark Adams, head of education and public outreach (EPO) at NRAO. "Our long-term goal is to make the NRAO Image Gallery an international resource for radio astronomy imagery

  6. Integrated optics for astronomical interferometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marques, P. V. S.; Ghasempour, A.; Alexandre, D.; Leite, A. M. P.; Garcia, P. J. V.; Reynaud, F.

    2011-05-01

    Integrated optics is a well established technology that finds its main applications in the fields of optical communication and sensing. However, it is expanding into new areas, and in the last decade application in astronomical interferometry has been explored. In particular, several examples have been demonstrated in the areas of beam control and combination. In this paper, different examples of application integrated optics devices for fabrication of beam combiners for astronomical interferometry is given. For the multiaxial beam combiners, a UV laser direct writing unit is used for mask fabrication. The operation principles of the coaxial combiners fabricated in hybrid sol-gel were validated using an interferometric set-up. These results demonstrate that hybrid sol-gel technology can produce quality devices, opening the possibility of rapid prototyping of new designs and concepts.

  7. The Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cline, J. Donald

    2015-01-01

    The path of the total solar eclipse across the United States on August 21, 2017 crosses the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI) located in western North Carolina. The partial eclipse begins at about 17:08 UT, followed by the nearly 2 minute total eclipse which begins at about 18:37 UT. The PARI campus includes radio and optical telescopes, as well as earth science instruments that include a seismometer, geomagnetometer, EarthScope Plate Boundary Observatory, time standards, and several weather stations. The instruments stream data to the PARI website and will be available for the eclipse. In anticipation of the 2017 solar eclipse, we present the instruments and infrastructure of the PARI campus. We invite astronomers to explore the use of the PARI campus as a site for their own instruments and/or the use of instruments already located at PARI.

  8. Astronomical Data and Information Visualization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goodman, Alyssa A.

    2010-01-01

    As the size and complexity of data sets increases, the need to "see" them more clearly increases as well. In the past, many scientists saw "fancy" data and information visualization as necessary for "outreach," but not for research. In this talk, I wlll demonstrate, using specific examples, why more and more scientists--not just astronomers--are coming to rely upon the development of new visualization strategies not just to present their data, but to understand it. Principal examples will be drawn from the "Astronomical Medicine" project at Harvard's Initiative in Innovative Computing, and from the "Seamless Astronomy" effort, which is co-sponsored by the VAO (NASA/NSF) and Microsoft Research.

  9. The Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cline, J. Donald; Castelaz, M.

    2009-01-01

    Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute is a not-for-profit foundation located at a former NASA tracking station in the Pisgah National Forest in western North Carolina. PARI is celebrating its 10th year. During its ten years, PARI has developed and implemented innovative science education programs. The science education programs are hands-on experimentally based, mixing disciplines in astronomy, computer science, earth and atmospheric science, engineering, and multimedia. The basic tools for the educational programs include a 4.6-m radio telescope accessible via the Internet, a StarLab planetarium, the Astronomical Photographic Data Archive (APDA), a distributed computing online environment to classify stars called SCOPE, and remotely accessible optical telescopes. The PARI 200 acre campus has a 4.6-m, a 12-m and two 26-m radio telescopes, optical solar telescopes, a Polaris monitoring telescope, 0.4-m and 0.35-m optical research telescopes, and earth and atmospheric science instruments. PARI is also the home of APDA, a repository for astronomical photographic plate collections which will eventually be digitized and made available online. PARI has collaborated with visiting scientists who have developed their research with PARI telescopes and lab facilities. Current experiments include: the Dedicated Interferometer for Rapid Variability (Dennison et al. 2007, Astronomical and Astrophysical Transactions, 26, 557); the Plate Boundary Observatory operated by UNAVCO; the Clemson University Fabry-Perot Interferometers (Meriwether 2008, Journal of Geophysical Research, submitted) measuring high velocity winds and temperatures in the Thermosphere, and the Western Carolina University - PARI variable star program. Current status of the education and research programs and instruments will be presented. Also, development plans will be reviewed. Development plans include the greening of PARI with the installation of solar panels to power the optical telescopes, a new distance

  10. Directory of astronomical data files

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1978-01-01

    This Directory of Astronomical Data Files was prepared by the Data Task Force of the Interagency Coordination Committee for Astronomy (ICCA) in cooperation with the National Space Science Data Center (NSSDC). The purpose of the Directory is to provide a listing which will enable a user to locate stellar and extragalactic data sources keyed along with sufficient descriptive information to permit him to assess the value of the files for his use as well as the status and availability of the compilations.

  11. Armenian Astronomical Society (ArAS) activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mickaelian, A. M.

    2016-09-01

    A review on the activities and achievements of Armenian Astronomical Society (ArAS) and Armenian astronomy in general during the last years is given. ArAS membership, ArAS electronic newsletters (ArASNews), ArAS webpage, Annual Meetings, Annual Prize for Young Astronomers (Yervant Terzian Prize) and other awards, international relations, presence in international organizations, local and international summer schools, science camps, astronomical Olympiads and other events, matters related to astronomical education, astronomical heritage, amateur astronomy, astronomy outreach and ArAS further projects are described and discussed.

  12. Conceptual approach to astronomical problems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skvortsov, N. A.; Avvakumova, E. A.; Bryukhov, D. O.; Vovchenko, A. E.; Vol'nova, A. A.; Dluzhnevskaya, O. B.; Kaigorodov, P. V.; Kalinichenko, L. A.; Kniazev, A. Yu.; Kovaleva, D. A.; Malkov, O. Yu.; Pozanenko, A. S.; Stupnikov, S. A.

    2016-01-01

    New technical capabilities have brought about the sweeping growth of the amount of data acquired by the astronomers from observations with different instruments in various parts of the electromagnetic spectrum. We consider conceptual approach to be a promising tool to efficiently deal with these data. It uses problem domain knowledge to formulate the tasks and develop problem-solving algorithms and data analysis methods in terms of domain concepts without reference to particular data sources, and thereby allows solving certain problems in general form. We demonstrate the benefits of conceptual approach by using it to solve problems related to search for secondary photometric standard candidates, determination of galaxy redshifts, creation of a binary and multiple star repository based on inhomogeneous databases, and classification of eclipsing binaries.We formulate and solve these problems over specifications of astronomical knowledge units such as photometric systems, astronomical objects, multiple stars, etc., and define them in terms of the corresponding problem domains independently of the existing data resources.

  13. Astronomical publications of Melbourne Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andropoulos, Jenny Ioanna

    2014-05-01

    During the second half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, four well-equipped government observatories were maintained in Australia - in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Perth. These institutions conducted astronomical observations, often in the course of providing a local time service, and they also collected and collated meteorological data. As well, some of these observatories were involved at times in geodetic surveying, geomagnetic recording, gravity measurements, seismology, tide recording and physical standards, so the term "observatory" was being used in a rather broad sense! Despite the international renown that once applied to Williamstown and Melbourne Observatories, relatively little has been written by modern-day scholars about astronomical activities at these observatories. This research is intended to rectify this situation to some extent by gathering, cataloguing and analysing the published astronomical output of the two Observatories to see what contributions they made to science and society. It also compares their contributions with those of Sydney, Adelaide and Perth Observatories. Overall, Williamstown and Melbourne Observatories produced a prodigious amount of material on astronomy in scientific and technical journals, in reports and in newspapers. The other observatories more or less did likewise, so no observatory of those studied markedly outperformed the others in the long term, especially when account is taken of their relative resourcing in staff and equipment.

  14. The Kyoto Tridimensional Spectrograph II on Subaru and the University of Hawaii 88 in Telescopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sugai, H.; Hattori, T.; Kawai, A.; Ozaki, S.; Hayashi, T.; Ishigaki, T.; Ishii, M.; Ohtani, H.; Shimono, A.; Okita, Y.; Matsubayashi, K.; Kosugi, G.; Sasaki, M.; Takeyama, N.

    2010-01-01

    In order to investigate physical conditions of ionized gas in galaxies, as well as its kinematics, we have developed the Kyoto tridimensional spectrograph II. It is a multimode optical instrument, including integral field spectrograph (IFS) and Fabry-Perot imager modes. We have designed it compact so that we can mount it on 2 m class telescopes as well as on the 8.2 m Subaru telescope. Special care was taken to obtain high-quality calibrations in the IFS mode. In order to remove the chromatic aberration of micropupil images produced by a lenslet array, we have introduced a corrector lens system behind the lenslet array. The internal calibration system simulates the telescope optics so that the system provides micropupil images identical to those produced by the telescope. The rigidness of the instrument provides the positional stability of micropupil images. We have succeeded in test observations of all the modes on Subaru and the University of Hawaii 88 in (UH88) telescopes and have verified the performance of the instrument. This includes the instrument efficiencies as well as the effective sky background subtraction and the minimization of crosstalk effects in the IFS mode. In the IFS mode a spatial resolution of 0.4'' was obtained in good seeing conditions. Each of 37 × 37 lenslets subtends 0.1'' in Subaru's case. This samples the image size well. A wider field of view is emphasized in the case of UH88.

  15. Applications of Integrated Photonic Spectrographs in astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harris, R. J.; Allington-Smith, J. R.

    2013-02-01

    One of the problems of producing instruments for extremely large telescopes (ELTs) is that their size (and hence cost) scales rapidly with telescope aperture. To try to break this relation alternative new technologies have been proposed, such as the use of the Integrated Photonic Spectrograph (IPS). Due to their diffraction-limited nature, the IPS is claimed to defeat the harsh scaling law applying to conventional instruments. In contrast to photonic applications, devices for astronomy are not usually used at the diffraction limit. Therefore, to retain throughput and spatial information, the IPS requires a photonic lantern (PL) to decompose the input multi-mode light into single modes. This is then fed into either numerous arrayed waveguide gratings (AWGs) or a conventional spectrograph. We investigate the potential advantage of using an IPS instead of conventional monolithic optics for a variety of capabilities represented by existing instruments on 8 m telescopes and others planned for ELTs. To do this, we have constructed toy models of different versions of the IPS and calculated the relative instrument sizes and the number of detector pixels required. This allows us to quantify the relative size/cost advantage for instruments aimed at different science requirements. We show that a full IPS instrument is equivalent to an image slicer. Image slicing is a beneficial strategy for ELTs as previously demonstrated. However, the requirement to decompose the input light into individual modes imposes a redundancy in terms of the numbers of components and detector pixels in many cases which acts to cancel out the advantage of the small size of the photonic components. However, there are specific applications where an IPS gives a potential advantage which we describe. Furthermore, the IPS approach has the potential advantage of minimizing or eliminating bulk optics. We show that AWGs fed with multiple single-mode inputs from an PL require relatively bulky auxiliary optics

  16. The Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Pontieu, B.; Title, A. M.; Lemen, J. R.; Kushner, G. D.; Akin, D. J.; Allard, B.; Berger, T.; Boerner, P.; Cheung, M.; Chou, C.; Drake, J. F.; Duncan, D. W.; Freeland, S.; Heyman, G. F.; Hoffman, C.; Hurlburt, N. E.; Lindgren, R. W.; Mathur, D.; Rehse, R.; Sabolish, D.; Seguin, R.; Schrijver, C. J.; Tarbell, T. D.; Wülser, J.-P.; Wolfson, C. J.; Yanari, C.; Mudge, J.; Nguyen-Phuc, N.; Timmons, R.; van Bezooijen, R.; Weingrod, I.; Brookner, R.; Butcher, G.; Dougherty, B.; Eder, J.; Knagenhjelm, V.; Larsen, S.; Mansir, D.; Phan, L.; Boyle, P.; Cheimets, P. N.; DeLuca, E. E.; Golub, L.; Gates, R.; Hertz, E.; McKillop, S.; Park, S.; Perry, T.; Podgorski, W. A.; Reeves, K.; Saar, S.; Testa, P.; Tian, H.; Weber, M.; Dunn, C.; Eccles, S.; Jaeggli, S. A.; Kankelborg, C. C.; Mashburn, K.; Pust, N.; Springer, L.; Carvalho, R.; Kleint, L.; Marmie, J.; Mazmanian, E.; Pereira, T. M. D.; Sawyer, S.; Strong, J.; Worden, S. P.; Carlsson, M.; Hansteen, V. H.; Leenaarts, J.; Wiesmann, M.; Aloise, J.; Chu, K.-C.; Bush, R. I.; Scherrer, P. H.; Brekke, P.; Martinez-Sykora, J.; Lites, B. W.; McIntosh, S. W.; Uitenbroek, H.; Okamoto, T. J.; Gummin, M. A.; Auker, G.; Jerram, P.; Pool, P.; Waltham, N.

    2014-07-01

    The Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) small explorer spacecraft provides simultaneous spectra and images of the photosphere, chromosphere, transition region, and corona with 0.33 - 0.4 arcsec spatial resolution, two-second temporal resolution, and 1 km s-1 velocity resolution over a field-of-view of up to 175 arcsec × 175 arcsec. IRIS was launched into a Sun-synchronous orbit on 27 June 2013 using a Pegasus-XL rocket and consists of a 19-cm UV telescope that feeds a slit-based dual-bandpass imaging spectrograph. IRIS obtains spectra in passbands from 1332 - 1358 Å, 1389 - 1407 Å, and 2783 - 2834 Å, including bright spectral lines formed in the chromosphere (Mg ii h 2803 Å and Mg ii k 2796 Å) and transition region (C ii 1334/1335 Å and Si iv 1394/1403 Å). Slit-jaw images in four different passbands (C ii 1330, Si iv 1400, Mg ii k 2796, and Mg ii wing 2830 Å) can be taken simultaneously with spectral rasters that sample regions up to 130 arcsec × 175 arcsec at a variety of spatial samplings (from 0.33 arcsec and up). IRIS is sensitive to emission from plasma at temperatures between 5000 K and 10 MK and will advance our understanding of the flow of mass and energy through an interface region, formed by the chromosphere and transition region, between the photosphere and corona. This highly structured and dynamic region not only acts as the conduit of all mass and energy feeding into the corona and solar wind, it also requires an order of magnitude more energy to heat than the corona and solar wind combined. The IRIS investigation includes a strong numerical modeling component based on advanced radiative-MHD codes to facilitate interpretation of observations of this complex region. Approximately eight Gbytes of data (after compression) are acquired by IRIS each day and made available for unrestricted use within a few days of the observation.

  17. First Visiting Astronomers at VLT KUEYEN

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2000-04-01

    A Deep Look into the Universal Hall of Mirrors Starting in the evening of April 1, 2000, Ghislain Golse and Francisco Castander from the Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées (Toulouse, France) [1] were the first "visiting astronomers" at Paranal to carry out science observations with the second 8.2-m VLT Unit Telescope, KUEYEN . Using the FORS2 multi-mode instrument as a spectrograph, they measured the distances to a number of very remote galaxies, located far out in space behind two clusters of galaxies. Such observations may help to determine the values of cosmological parameters that define the geometry and fate of the Universe. After two nights of observations, the astronomers came away from Paranal with a rich harvest of data and a good feeling. "We are delighted that the telescope performed so well. It is really impressive how far out one can reach with the VLT, compared to the `smaller' 4-meter telescopes with which we previously observed. It opens a new window towards the distant, early Universe. Now we are eager to start reducing and analysing these data!" , Francisco Castander said. Measuring the Geometry of the Universe with Multiple Images in Cluster Lenses The present programme is typical of the fundamental cosmological studies that are now being undertaken with the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT). Clusters of galaxies are very massive objects. Their gravitational fields intensify ("magnify") and distort the images of galaxies behind them. The magnification factor for the faint background galaxy population seen within a few arcminutes of the centre of a massive cluster at intermediate distance (redshift z ~ 0.2 - 0.4, i.e., corresponding to a look-back time of approx. 2 - 4 billion years) is typically larger than 2, and occasionally much larger. The clusters thus function as gravitational lenses . They may be regarded as "natural telescopes" that help us to see fainter objects further out into space than would otherwise be possible with our own telescopes. In a

  18. Interstellar Medium Absorption Profile Spectrograph (IMAPS)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jenkins, E. B.

    1985-01-01

    The design and fabrication of an objective-grating echelle spectrograph to fly on sounding rockets and record spectra of stars from approximately 920 to 1120A with a resolving power lambda/delta lambda = 200,000 is discussed. The scientific purpose of the program is to observe, with ten times better velocity resolution than before, the plentiful absorption lines in this spectral region produced by atoms, ions and molecules in the interstellar medium. In addition, an important technical goal is to develop and flight-quality a new ultraviolet, photon-counting image sensor which has a windowless, opaque photocathode and a CCD bombarded directly by the accelerated photoelectrons. Except for some initial difficulties with the performance of CCDs, the development of the payload instrument is relatively straightforward and our overall design goals are satisfied. The first flight occurred in late 1984, but no data were obtained because of an inrush of air degraded the instrument's vacuum and caused the detector's high voltage to arc. A second flight in early 1985 was a complete success and obtained a spectrum of pi Sco. Data from this mission are currently being reduced; quick-look versions of the spectra indicate that excellent results will be obtained. Currently, the payload is being reconfigured to fly on a Spartan mission in 1988.

  19. Interstellar Medium Absorption Profile Spectrograph (IMAPS)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jenkins, E. B.

    1985-08-01

    The design and fabrication of an objective-grating echelle spectrograph to fly on sounding rockets and record spectra of stars from approximately 920 to 1120A with a resolving power lambda/delta lambda = 200,000 is discussed. The scientific purpose of the program is to observe, with ten times better velocity resolution than before, the plentiful absorption lines in this spectral region produced by atoms, ions and molecules in the interstellar medium. In addition, an important technical goal is to develop and flight-quality a new ultraviolet, photon-counting image sensor which has a windowless, opaque photocathode and a CCD bombarded directly by the accelerated photoelectrons. Except for some initial difficulties with the performance of CCDs, the development of the payload instrument is relatively straightforward and our overall design goals are satisfied. The first flight occurred in late 1984, but no data were obtained because of an inrush of air degraded the instrument's vacuum and caused the detector's high voltage to arc. A second flight in early 1985 was a complete success and obtained a spectrum of pi Sco. Data from this mission are currently being reduced; quick-look versions of the spectra indicate that excellent results will be obtained. Currently, the payload is being reconfigured to fly on a Spartan mission in 1988.

  20. Calibration Monitor for Dark Energy Experiments

    SciTech Connect

    Kaiser, M. E.

    2009-11-23

    The goal of this program was to design, build, test, and characterize a flight qualified calibration source and monitor for a Dark Energy related experiment: ACCESS - 'Absolute Color Calibration Experiment for Standard Stars'. This calibration source, the On-board Calibration Monitor (OCM), is a key component of our ACCESS spectrophotometric calibration program. The OCM will be flown as part of the ACCESS sub-orbital rocket payload in addition to monitoring instrument sensitivity on the ground. The objective of the OCM is to minimize systematic errors associated with any potential changes in the ACCESS instrument sensitivity. Importantly, the OCM will be used to monitor instrument sensitivity immediately after astronomical observations while the instrument payload is parachuting to the ground. Through monitoring, we can detect, track, characterize, and thus correct for any changes in instrument senstivity over the proposed 5-year duration of the assembled and calibrated instrument.

  1. astroplan: Observation Planning for Astronomers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morris, Brett

    2016-03-01

    Astroplan is an observation planning package for astronomers. It is an astropy-affiliated package which began as a Google Summer of Code project. Astroplan facilitates convenient calculation of common observational quantities, like target altitudes and azimuths, airmasses, and rise/set times. Astroplan also computes when targets are observable given various extensible observing constraints, for example: within a range of airmasses or altitudes, or at a given separation from the Moon. Astroplan is taught in the undergraduate programming for astronomy class, and enables observational Pre- MAP projects at the University of Washington. In the near future, we plan to implement scheduling capabilities in astroplan on top of the constraints framework.

  2. A double beam astronomical photometer.

    PubMed

    McCord, T B

    1968-03-01

    A double beam photoelectric filter photometer has been designed and constructed to make simultaneous measurements of two astronomical objects. Both objects are imaged in the same focal plane so that the same aperture-filter-detector system is used for both beams. The device greatly reduces errors due to variable atmospheric extinction. Photometric measurements can be made under conditions normally suitable only for spectroscopic work. Measurement precision is also increased, and accuracies of a few tenths of one percent are routine under thin cloud conditions. A description of the instrument and its operation is given in this paper.

  3. Visualizing Astronomical Data with Blender

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kent, Brian R.

    2014-01-01

    We present methods for using the 3D graphics program Blender in the visualization of astronomical data. The software's forte for animating 3D data lends itself well to use in astronomy. The Blender graphical user interface and Python scripting capabilities can be utilized in the generation of models for data cubes, catalogs, simulations, and surface maps. We review methods for data import, 2D and 3D voxel texture applications, animations, camera movement, and composite renders. Rendering times can be improved by using graphic processing units (GPUs). A number of examples are shown using the software features most applicable to various kinds of data paradigms in astronomy.

  4. The Travelogue of an Astronomer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hameed, S.

    2005-03-01

    Roughly 3 million years back, a series of volcanic eruptions raised a huge mass of land to a height of over 3000 meters. The primary volcano lost its fight to gravity and eventually collapsed 500,000 years ago to form a huge caldera. Today this is the most dominant feature on the island of La Palma in the Spanish Canary Islands, located in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Morocco. The rim of the caldera is now populated with instruments designed to answer some of humanity's most profound questions about our place in the universe. Three million years of landscaping has provided astronomers an ideal place to gaze at the heavens.

  5. How I Became an Astronomer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Maran, Stephen P.

    2001-01-01

    Life as an astronomer has taken me to view eclipses of the Sun from the Gaspe' Peninsula to the Pacific Ocean and the China and Coral Seas, and to observe the stars at observatories across the USA and as far south as Chile. I've also enjoyed working with NASA's telescopes in space, including the Hubble Space Telescope and the International Ultraviolet Explorer. It seems funny to reflect that it all began in the Sixth Grade by a fluke - the consequence of a hoax letter whose author I never identified.

  6. Formation flight astronomical survey telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsunemi, Hiroshi

    2012-03-01

    Formation Flight Astronomical Survey Telescope (FFAST) is a project for hard X-ray observation. It consists of two small satellites; one (telescope satellite) has a super mirror covering the energy range up to 80 keV while the other (detector satellite) has an scintillator deposited CCD (SDCCD) having good spatial resolution and high efficiency up to 100 keV. Two satellites will be put into individual Kepler orbits forming an X-ray telescope with a focal length of 20 m. They will be not in pointing mode but in survey mode to cover a large sky region.

  7. Glacial cycles and astronomical forcing

    SciTech Connect

    Muller, R.A.; MacDonald, G.J.

    1997-07-11

    Narrow spectral features in ocean sediment records offer strong evidence that the cycles of glaciation were driven by astronomical forces. Two million years ago, the cycles match the 41,000-year period of Earth`s obliquity. This supports the Croll/Milankovitch theory, which attributes the cycles to variations in insolation. But for the past million years, the spectrum is dominated by a single 100,000-year feature and is a poor match to the predictions of insolation models. The spectrum can be accounted for by a theory that derives the cycles of glaciation from variations in the inclination of Earth`s orbital plane.

  8. Radio and Optical Telescopes for School Students and Professional Astronomers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hosmer, Laura; Langston, G.; Heatherly, S.; Towner, A. P.; Ford, J.; Simon, R. S.; White, S.; O'Neil, K. L.; Haipslip, J.; Reichart, D.

    2013-01-01

    The NRAO 20m telescope is now on-line as a part of UNC's Skynet worldwide telescope network. The NRAO is completing integration of radio astronomy tools with the Skynet web interface. We present the web interface and astronomy projects that allow students and astronomers from all over the country to become Radio Astronomers. The 20 meter radio telescope at NRAO in Green Bank, WV is dedicated to public education and also is part of an experiment in public funding for astronomy. The telescope has a fantastic new web-based interface, with priority queuing, accommodating priority for paying customers and enabling free use of otherwise unused time. This revival included many software and hardware improvements including automatic calibration and improved time integration resulting in improved data processing, and a new ultra high resolution spectrometer. This new spectrometer is optimized for very narrow spectral lines, which will allow astronomers to study complex molecules and very cold regions of space in remarkable detail. In accordance with focusing on broader impacts, many public outreach and high school education activities have been completed with many confirmed future activities. The 20 meter is now a fully automated, powerful tool capable of professional grade results available to anyone in the world. Drop by our poster and try out real-time telescope control!

  9. Wavefront Sensing Using a Multi-Object Spectrograph (NIRSpec)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dean, Bruce H.; Boucarut, Rene; Hadjimichael, Theo; Smith, Scott

    2004-01-01

    An analysis is presented that illustrates how the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) fine-phasing process can be carried out using the Near-Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec) data collected at the science focal plane. The analysis considers a multi-plane diffraction model which properly accounts for the microshutter diffractive element placed at the first relay position of the spectrograph. Wavefront sensing results are presented based on data collected from the NASA Goddard Microshutter Testbed.

  10. X-ray spectrographic determination of cesium and rubidium

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Axelrod, J.M.; Adler, I.

    1957-01-01

    An x-ray spectrographic method for the determination of rubidium and cesium was developed, using the internal-standard method and a four-channel flat-crystal spectrograph. The sensitivity is within 0.1% for cesia and 0.02% for rubidia; the precision is within 10% of the amount present. Results agree well with those obtained by flame photometry and by radio-activation.

  11. Russian astronomical ephemeris editions and software

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glebova, N.; Lukashova, M.; Netsvetaeva, G.; Sveshnikov, M.; Skripnichenko, V.

    2015-08-01

    Institute of Applied Astronomy has published "The Astronomical Yearbook", "The Nautical Astronomical Yearbook", "The Nautical Astronomical Almanac" biennial. Ephemerides are calculated according to resolutions of GA IAU of 2000-2006. The EPM domestic theory of movement of the Solar system bodies is used in Russian astronomical ephemeris editions and software since 2009 according to the recommendations of the conference CTNS-2007. Along with printing the astronomical software are elaborated. "The Personal Astronomical Yearbook" (PersAY) allows the user to solve tasks of calculation of ephemerides for any moment in various time scales, and for any position of the observer on a terrestrial surface. System of the removed access the "Scturman" is developed also intended to solve some the navigating tasks.

  12. Demonstration and design of a compact diffraction limited spectrograph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Betters, Christopher H.; Leon-Saval, Sergio G.; Bland-Hawthorn, Joss; Robertson, Gordon

    2012-09-01

    PIMMS IR is a prototype high resolution diraction limited spectrograph operating in the near infrared. Its current conguration has a bandwidth of 8nm centred on 1550nm with a resolving power, λ/Δλ, of 31000 with the option to increase this to ~60000 using a dual grating system. Remarkably, this is 85% of the theoretical limit for Gaussian illumination of a diraction grating. It is based upon the PIMMS#0 (photonic integrated multi-mode micro-spectrograph), a design that utilises the multi-mode to single-mode conversion of the photonic lantern. By feeding the spectrograph with the single-mode bres we are able to design and build a spectrograph whose performance is diraction limited and independent of the input source (i.e. a telescope) it is attached to. The spectrograph has with a throughput of ~70% (that is the light from the single-mode entrance slit that lands on the detector). The spectrograph is also extremely compact with a footprint of just 450mm x 190mm. Here we present the design of PIMMS IR and its performance characteristics determined from ray tracing, physical optics simulations and experimental measurements.Δ

  13. Auroral meridian scanning photometer calibration using Jupiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jackel, Brian J.; Unick, Craig; Creutzberg, Fokke; Baker, Greg; Davis, Eric; Donovan, Eric F.; Connors, Martin; Wilson, Cody; Little, Jarrett; Greffen, M.; McGuffin, Neil

    2016-10-01

    Observations of astronomical sources provide information that can significantly enhance the utility of auroral data for scientific studies. This report presents results obtained by using Jupiter for field cross calibration of four multispectral auroral meridian scanning photometers during the 2011-2015 Northern Hemisphere winters. Seasonal average optical field-of-view and local orientation estimates are obtained with uncertainties of 0.01 and 0.1°, respectively. Estimates of absolute sensitivity are repeatable to roughly 5 % from one month to the next, while the relative response between different wavelength channels is stable to better than 1 %. Astronomical field calibrations and darkroom calibration differences are on the order of 10 %. Atmospheric variability is the primary source of uncertainty; this may be reduced with complementary data from co-located instruments.

  14. The Low Energy Effective Area of the Chandra Low Energy Transmission Grating Spectrograph

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pease, D.; Drake, J. J.; Johnson, C. O.; Kashya, V.; Ratzlaff, P. W.; Wargelin, B. J.; Brinkman, A. C.; Kaastra, J. S.; vanderMeer, R.; Paerels, F. B.

    2000-01-01

    The Chandra X-ray Observatory was successfully launched on July 23, 1999, and subsequently began an intensive calibration phase. We present the preliminary results from the in-flight calibration of the low energy response of the High Resolution Camera spectroscopic readout (HRC-S) combined with the Low Energy Transmission Grating (LETG) aboard Chandra. These instruments comprise the Low Energy Transmission Grating Spectrograph (LETGS). For this calibration study, we employ a pure hydrogen non-LTE white dwarf emission model (T = 25000 K and log g = 9.0) for comparison with the Chandra observations of Sirius B. The pre-flight calibration of the LETGS effective area only covered wavelengths shortward of 44 A (E less than 277 eV). Our Sirius B analysis shows that the HRC-S quantum efficiency (QE) model assumed for longer wavelengths leads to an overestimate of the effective area by an average factor of about 1.6. We derive a correction to the low energy HRC-S QE model to match the predicted and observed Sirius B spectra over the wavelength range of 44-185 A. We make an independent test of our results by the comparison of a Chandra LETGS observation of HZ 43 with pure hydrogen model atmosphere predictions and find good agreement.

  15. Hubble repair and more wins astronomers' acclaim.

    PubMed

    Travis, J

    1994-01-28

    The repaired Hubble Space Telescope overshadowed everything else at the American Astronomical Society (AAS) Meeting earlier this month in Alexandria, Virginia. The nearly 2000 astronomers who turned out for the society's largest meeting yet provided plenty of "oohs" and "aahs" for every new image. But, in between, some astronomers caught word of a new proposal about how to tell whether the universe is open or closed, more data about mysterious gamma ray bursts, and the crowning of the "Galaxy of the Year."

  16. Topics in Machine Learning for Astronomers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cisewski, Jessi

    2016-01-01

    As astronomical datasets continue to increase in size and complexity, innovative statistical and machine learning tools are required to address the scientific questions of interest in a computationally efficient manner. I will introduce some tools that astronomers can employ for such problems with a focus on clustering and classification techniques. I will introduce standard methods, but also get into more recent developments that may be of use to the astronomical community.

  17. Astronomical Methods in Aerial Navigation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Beij, K Hilding

    1925-01-01

    The astronomical method of determining position is universally used in marine navigation and may also be of service in aerial navigation. The practical application of the method, however, must be modified and adapted to conform to the requirements of aviation. Much of this work of adaptation has already been accomplished, but being scattered through various technical journals in a number of languages, is not readily available. This report is for the purpose of collecting under one cover such previous work as appears to be of value to the aerial navigator, comparing instruments and methods, indicating the best practice, and suggesting future developments. The various methods of determining position and their application and value are outlined, and a brief resume of the theory of the astronomical method is given. Observation instruments are described in detail. A complete discussion of the reduction of observations follows, including a rapid method of finding position from the altitudes of two stars. Maps and map cases are briefly considered. A bibliography of the subject is appended.

  18. Astronomers in the Chemist's War

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trimble, Virginia L.

    2012-01-01

    World War II, with radar, rockets, and "atomic" bombs was the physicists' war. And many of us know, or think we know, what our more senior colleagues did during it, with Hubble and Hoffleit at Aberdeen; M. Schwarzschild on active duty in Italy; Bondi, Gold, and Hoyle hunkered down in Dunsfeld, Surrey, talking about radar, and perhaps steady state; Greenstein and Henyey designing all-sky cameras; and many astronomers teaching navigation. World War I was The Chemists' War, featuring poison gases, the need to produce liquid fuels from coal on one side of the English Channel and to replace previously-imported dyesstuffs on the other. The talke will focus on what astronomers did and had done to them between 1914 and 1919, from Freundlich (taken prisoner on an eclipse expedition days after the outbreak of hostilities) to Edwin Hubble, returning from France without ever having quite reached the front lines. Other events bore richer fruit (Hale and the National Research Council), but very few of the stories are happy ones. Most of us have neither first nor second hand memories of The Chemists' War, but I had the pleasure of dining with a former Freundlich student a couple of weeks ago.

  19. The League of Astronomers: Outreach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paat, Anthony; Brandel, A.; Schmitz, D.; Sharma, R.; Thomas, N. H.; Trujillo, J.; Laws, C. S.; Astronomers, League of

    2014-01-01

    The University of Washington League of Astronomers (LOA) is an organization comprised of University of Washington (UW) undergraduate students. Our main goal is to share our interest in astronomy with the UW community and with the general public. The LOA hosts star parties on the UW campus and collaborates with the Seattle Astronomical Society (SAS) on larger Seattle-area star parties. At the star parties, we strive to teach our local community about what they can view in our night sky. LOA members share knowledge of how to locate constellations and use a star wheel. The relationship the LOA has with members of SAS increases both the number of events and people we are able to reach. Since the cloudy skies of the Northwest prevent winter star parties, we therefore focus our outreach on the UW Mobile Planetarium, an inflatable dome system utilizing Microsoft’s WorldWide Telescope (WWT) software. The mobile planetarium brings astronomy into the classrooms of schools unable to travel to the UW on-campus planetarium. Members of the LOA volunteer their time towards this project and we make up the majority of the Mobile Planetarium volunteers. Our outreach efforts allow us to connect with the community and enhance our own knowledge of astronomy.

  20. LGBT Workplace Issues for Astronomers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kay, Laura E.; Danner, R.; Sellgren, K.; Dixon, V.; GLBTQastro

    2011-01-01

    Federal Equal Employment Opportunity laws and regulations do not provide protection from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity or gender expression. Sexual minority astronomers (including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people; LGBT) can face additional challenges at school and work. Studies show that LGBT students on many campuses report experiences of harassment. Cities, counties, and states may or may not have statutes to protect against such discrimination. There is wide variation in how states and insurance plans handle legal and medical issues for transgender people. Federal law does not acknowledge same-sex partners, including those legally married in the U.S. or in other countries. Immigration rules in the U.S. (and many other, but not all) countries do not recognize same-sex partners for visas, employment, etc. State `defense of marriage act' laws have been used to remove existing domestic partner benefits at some institutions, or benefits can disappear with a change in governor. LGBT astronomers who change schools, institutions, or countries during their career may experience significant differences in their legal, medical, and marital status.

  1. The GMT-CFA-CARNEGIE-CATOLICA LARGE EARTH FINDER (G-CLEF): A Fiber-fed, Optical Echelle Spectrograph For The Giant Magellan Telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szentgyorgyi, Andrew; Furesz, G.; Frebel, A.; Geary, J.; Evans, I.; Norton, T.; Hertz, E.; DePonte Evans, J.; Jordan, A.; Guzman, D.; Epps, H.; Barnes, S.; Crane, J.

    2011-01-01

    The GMT-CfA-Carnegie-Catolica Large Earth Finder (G-CLEF) is a fiber-fed optical echelle spectrograph in concept design study phase for first light at the Giant Magellan Telescope. G-CLEF is designed to be a multipurpose echelle spectrograph that operates in a number of modes so as to enable precision radial velocity (RV) measurements, detailed abundance studies, isotopic abundance measurements and probe the IGM and ISM at high Z. Four resolution modes are implemented with image and pupil slicing. Extremely precise RV will be achieved by vacuum enclosing the spectrograph, with advanced fiber scrambling and state-of-the-art calibrators, especially ultra stabilized etalons and possibly laser frequency combs. The optical design is a asymmetric white pupil design with two camera arms splitting the 350 nm - 950 nm passband into red and blue channels. G-CLEF will have an extremely large, mosaiced echelle grating and volume phase holograph cross dispersers.

  2. First light with ALES: A 2-5 micron adaptive optics Integral Field Spectrograph for the LBT

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skemer, Andrew J.; Hinz, Philip; Montoya, Manny; Skrutskie, Michael F.; Leisenring, Jarron; Durney, Oli; Woodward, Charles E.; Wilson, John; Nelson, Matt; Bailey, Vanessa; Defrere, Denis; Stone, Jordan

    2015-09-01

    Integral field spectrographs are an important technology for exoplanet imaging, due to their ability to take spectra in a high-contrast environment, and improve planet detection sensitivity through spectral differential imaging. ALES is the first integral field spectrograph capable of imaging exoplanets from 3-5 μm, and will extend our ability to characterize self-luminous exoplanets into a wavelength range where they peak in brightness. ALES is installed inside LBTI/LMIRcam on the Large Binocular Telescope, taking advantage of existing AO systems, camera optics, and a HAWAII-2RG detector. The new optics that comprise ALES are a Keplerian magnifier, a silicon lenslet array with diffraction suppressing pinholes, a direct vision prism, and calibration optics. All of these components are installed in filter wheels making ALES a completely modular design. ALES saw first light at the LBT in June 2015.

  3. Storing Astronomical Information on the Romanian Territory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stavinschi, Magda; Mioc, Vasile

    The Romanian astronomy has a more than 2000-year old tradition which is however too little known abroad. The first known archive of astronomical information is the Dacian sanctuary at Sarmizegetusa Regia very similar to that of Stonehenge. After a gap of more than 1000 years sources of astronomical information became to be recovered. They consist mainly of records of astronomical events seen on the Romanian territory. The most safe places to store these genuine archives were the monasteries. We present a classification of the manners of storing astronomical information along with characteristic examples.

  4. Storing Astronomical Information on the Romanian Territory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stavinschi, M.; Mioc, V.

    2004-12-01

    Romanian astronomy has a more than 2000-year old tradition, which is, however, little known abroad. The first known archive of astronomical information is the Dacian sanctuary at Sarmizegetusa Regia, erected in the first century AD, having similarities with that of Stonehenge. After a gap of more than 1000 years, more sources of astronomical information become available, mainly records of astronomical events. Monasteries were the safest storage places of these genuine archives. We present a classification of the ways of storing astronomical information, along with characteristic examples.

  5. Amateur Astronomers: Secret Agents of EPO

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berendsen, M.; White, V.; Devore, E.; Reynolds, M.

    2008-06-01

    Amateur astronomers prime the public to be more interested, receptive, and excited about space science, missions, and programs. Through recent research and targeted programs, amateur astronomy outreach is being increasingly recognized by professional astronomers, educators, and other amateurs as a valued and important service. The Night Sky Network program, administered by the ASP, is the first nationwide research-based program specifically targeted to support outreach by amateur astronomers. This Network of trained and informed amateur astronomers can provide a stimulating introduction to your EPO programs as Network members share the night sky with families, students, and youth groups.

  6. Amateur Astronomers As Public Outreach Partners

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bennett, M. A.

    2006-08-01

    Amateur astronomers involved in public outreach represent a huge, largely untapped source of energy and enthusiasm to help astronomers reach the general public. Even though many astronomy educators already work with amateur astronomers, the potential educational impact of amateur astronomers as public outreach ambassadors remains largely unrealized. Surveys and other work by the ASP in the US show that more than 20% of astronomy club members routinely participate in public engagement and educational events, such as public star parties, classroom visits, work with youth and community groups, etc. Amateur astronomers who participate in public outreach events are knowledgeable about astronomy and passionate about sharing their hobby with other people. They are very willing to work with astronomers and astronomy educators. They want useful materials, support, and training. In the USA, the ASP operates "The Night Sky Network," (funded by NASA). We have developed specialized materials and training, tested by and used by amateur astronomers. This project works with nearly 200 local astronomy clubs in 50 states to help them conduct more effective public outreach events. It has resulted in nearly 3,600 outreach events (reaching nearly 300,000 people) in just two years. In this presentation we examine key success factors, lessons learned, and suggest how astronomers outside the US can recruit and work with "outreach amateur astronomers" in their own countries.

  7. San Marcos Astronomical Project and Doctoral Prospectus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aguilar, M. L.

    2009-05-01

    The Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, UNMSM, in Lima, Perú, is the only Peruvian institution working for the peruvian astronomical development as a career since 1970. We are conforming a network with international friend astronomers to invite them as Visiting Lectures to assure the academic level for the future doctoral studies in the UNMSM. The Chancellor of UNMSM has decided that the Astronomical Project is a UNMSM Project, to encourage and advance in this scientific and strategical area, to impulse the modernity of Peru, the major effort will be the building of the San Marcos Astronomical Observatory, with a telescope of 1 meter aperture.

  8. BOOK REVIEW: The Wandering Astronomer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swinbank, Elizabeth

    2000-09-01

    Fans of Patrick Moore will like this book. I enjoyed it more than I expected, having anticipated a collection of personal anecdotes of the type favoured by certain tedious after-dinner speakers. Some of the 41 short items it contains do tend towards that category, but there are also some nuggets which might enliven your physics teaching. For example, did you know that, in a murder trial in 1787, the defendant's belief that the Sun was inhabited was cited as evidence of his insanity? This was despite his views being shared by many astronomers of the day including William Herschel. Or that Clyde Tombaugh had a cat called Pluto after the planet he discovered, which was itself named by an eleven-year-old girl? Another gem concerns a brief flurry, in the early 1990s, over a suspected planet orbiting a pulsar; variations in the arrival time of its radio pulses indicated the presence of an orbiting body. These shifts were later found to arise from an error in a computer program that corrected for the Earth's motion. The programmer had assumed a circular orbit for the Earth whereas it is actually elliptical. The book is clearly intended for amateur astronomers and followers of Patrick Moore's TV programmes. There is plenty of astronomy, with an emphasis on the solar system, but very little astrophysics. The author's metricophobia means that quantities are given in imperial units throughout, with metric equivalents added in brackets (by an editor, I suspect) which can get irritating, particularly as powers-of-ten notation is avoided. It is quite a novelty to see the temperature for hydrogen fusion quoted as 18 000 000 °F (10 000 000 °C). By way of contrast, astronomical terms are used freely - ecliptic, first-magnitude star, and so on. Such terms are defined in a glossary at the end, but attention is not drawn to this and I only stumbled across it by chance. Patrick Moore obviously knows his public, and this book will serve them well. For physics teachers and students

  9. Ticking Stellar Time Bomb Identified - Astronomers find prime suspect for a Type Ia supernova

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2009-11-01

    it will eventually become heavy enough to explode as a supernova. Combining the NACO images with data obtained with several other telescopes [5] the astronomers could determine the distance of the system - about 25 000 light-years from the Sun - and its intrinsic brightness - over 10 000 times brighter than the Sun. This implies that the vampire white dwarf in this system has a high mass that is near its fatal limit and is still simultaneously being fed by its companion at a high rate. "Whether V445 Puppis will eventually explode as a supernova, or if the current nova outburst has pre-empted that pathway by ejecting too much matter back into space is still unclear," says Woudt. "But we have here a pretty good suspect for a future Type Ia supernova!" Notes [1] White dwarfs represent the evolutionary end product of stars with initial masses up to a few solar masses. A white dwarf is the burnt-out stellar core that is left behind when a star like the Sun sheds its outer layers towards the end of its active life. It is composed essentially of carbon and oxygen. This process normally also leads to the formation of a surrounding planetary nebula. [2] Adaptive optics is a technique that allows astronomers to obtain an image of an object free from the blurring effect of the atmosphere. See the adaptive optics page at ESO: http://www.eso.org/public/astronomy/technology/adaptive_optics.html [3] See for example http://www.eso.org/~bleibund/papers/EPN/epn.html [4] This Chandrasekhar limit, named after the Indian physicist Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, is nearly 1.4 times the mass of the Sun. When a white dwarf reaches a mass above this limit, either by sucking matter from a companion or merging with another white dwarf, it will turn itself into a thermonuclear bomb that will burn carbon and oxygen explosively. [5] The team also used the SOFI instrument on ESO's New Technology Telescope, the IMACS spectrograph on the 6.5-metre Magellan Baade telescope, and the Infrared Survey

  10. Comet 67P observations with LOTUS: a new near-UV spectrograph for the Liverpool Telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marchant, Jon; Jermak, Helen; Steele, Iain; Snodgrass, Colin; Fitzsimmons, Alan; Jones, Geraint

    2015-11-01

    The European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft has been orbiting comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (hereinafter “67P”) since August 2014, providing in-situ measurements of the dust, gas and plasma content of the coma within ~100km of the nucleus. Supporting the mission is a world-wide coordinated campaign of simultaneous ground-based observations of 67P (www.rosetta-campaign.net), providing wider context of the outer coma and tail invisible to Rosetta. We can now compare these observations, augmented by "ground truth" from Rosetta, with those of other comets past and future that are only observed from Earth.The robotic Liverpool Telescope (LT) is part of this campaign due to its unique ability to flexibly and autonomously schedule regular observations over entire semesters. Its optical imagery has recently been supplemented by near-UV spectroscopy to observe the UV molecular bands below 4000Å that are of considerable interest to cometary science. The LT's existing spectrographs FRODOSpec and SPRAT cut off at 4000Å, so the Liverpool Telescope Optical-to-UV Spectrograph - LOTUS - was fast-track designed, built and deployed on-sky in just five months. LOTUS contains no moving parts; acquisition is made with the LT's IO:O imaging camera, and different width slits for calibration and science are selected by fine-tuning the telescope's pointing on an innovative "step" design in its single slit.We present here details of the LOTUS spectrograph, and some preliminary results of our ongoing observations of comet 67P.

  11. Performance results from in-flight commissioning of the Juno Ultraviolet Spectrograph (Juno-UVS)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greathouse, T. K.; Gladstone, G. R.; Davis, M. W.; Slater, D. C.; Versteeg, M. H.; Persson, K. B.; Walther, B. C.; Winters, G. S.; Persyn, S. C.; Eterno, J. S.

    2013-09-01

    We present a description of the Juno ultraviolet spectrograph (Juno-UVS) and results from its in-flight commissioning performed between December 5th and 13th 2011 and its first periodic maintenance between October 10th and 12th 2012. Juno-UVS is a modest power (9.0 W) ultraviolet spectrograph based on the Alice instruments now in flight aboard the European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft, and the LAMP instrument aboard NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. However, unlike the other Alice spectrographs, Juno-UVS sits aboard a spin stabilized spacecraft. The Juno-UVS scan mirror allows for pointing of the slit approximately +/-30° from the spacecraft spin plane. This ability gives Juno-UVS access to half the sky at any given spacecraft orientation. The planned 2 rpm spin rate for the primary mission results in integration times per 0.2° spatial resolution element per spin of only ~17 ms. Thus, for calibration purposes, data were retrieved from many spins and then remapped and co-added to build up exposure times on bright stars to measure the effective area, spatial resolution, scan mirror pointing positions, etc. The primary job of Juno-UVS will be to characterize Jupiter's UV auroral emissions and relate them to in-situ particle measurements. The ability to point the slit will make operations more flexible, allowing Juno-UVS to observe the atmospheric footprints of magnetic field lines through which Juno flies, giving a direct connection between energetic particle measurements on the spacecraft and the far-ultraviolet emissions produced by Jupiter's atmosphere in response to those particles.

  12. The Mitchell Spectrograph: Studying Nearby Galaxies with the VIRUS Prototype

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blanc, Guillermo A.

    The Mitchell Spectrograph (a.k.a. VIRUS-P) on the 2.7m Harlan J. Smith telescope at McDonald Observatory is currently the largest field of view (FOV) integral field unit (IFU) spectrograph in the world (1.7'x1.7'). It was designed as a prototype for the highly replicable VIRUS spectrograph which consists of a mosaic of IFUs spread over a 16' diameter FOV feeding 150 spectrographs similar to the Mitchell. VIRUS will be deployed on the 9.2 meter Hobby-Eberly Telescope (HET) and will be used to conduct the HET Dark Energy Experiment (HETDEX). Since seeing first light in 2007 the Mitchell Spectrograph has been widely used, among other things, to study nearby galaxies in the local universe where their internal structure and the spatial distribution of different physical parameters can be studied in great detail. These observations have provided important insight into many aspects of the physics behind the formation and evolution of galaxies and have boosted the scientific impact of the 2.7 meter telescope enormously. Here I review the contributions of the Mitchell Spectrograph to the study of nearby galaxies, from the investigation of the spatial distribution of dark matter and the properties of supermassive black holes, to the studies of the process of star formation and the chemical composition of stars and gas in the ISM, which provide important information regarding the formation and evolution of these systems. I highlight the fact that wide field integral field spectrographs on small and medium size telescopes can be powerful cost effective tools to study the astrophysics of galaxies. Finally I briefly discuss the potential of HETDEX for conducting studies on nearby galaxies. The survey parameters make it complimentary and competitive to ongoing and future surveys like SAMI and MANGA.

  13. Preparing Colorful Astronomical Images II

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levay, Z. G.; Frattare, L. M.

    2002-12-01

    We present additional techniques for using mainstream graphics software (Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator) to produce composite color images and illustrations from astronomical data. These techniques have been used on numerous images from the Hubble Space Telescope to produce photographic, print and web-based products for news, education and public presentation as well as illustrations for technical publication. We expand on a previous paper to present more detail and additional techniques, taking advantage of new or improved features available in the latest software versions. While Photoshop is not intended for quantitative analysis of full dynamic range data (as are IRAF or IDL, for example), we have had much success applying Photoshop's numerous, versatile tools to work with scaled images, masks, text and graphics in multiple semi-transparent layers and channels.

  14. Ancient Astronomical Monuments of Athens

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Theodossiou, E.; Manimanis, V. N.

    2010-07-01

    In this work, four ancient monuments of astronomical significance found in Athens and still kept in the same city in good condition are presented. The first one is the conical sundial on the southern slope of the Acropolis. The second one is the Tower of the Winds and its vertical sundials in the Roman Forum of Athens, a small octagonal marble tower with sundials on all 8 of its sides, plus a water-clock inside the tower. The third monument-instrument is the ancient clepsydra of Athens, one of the findings from the Ancient Agora of Athens, a unique water-clock dated from 400 B.C. Finally, the fourth one is the carved ancient Athenian calendar over the main entrance of the small Byzantine temple of the 8th Century, St. Eleftherios, located to the south of the temple of the Annunciation of Virgin Mary, the modern Cathedral of the city of Athens.

  15. IAU Public Astronomical Organisations Network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Canas, Lina; Cheung, Sze Leung

    2015-08-01

    The Office for Astronomy Outreach has devoted intensive means to create and support a global network of public astronomical organisations around the world. Focused on bringing established and newly formed amateur astronomy organizations together, providing communications channels and platforms for disseminating news to the global community and the sharing of best practices and resources among these associations around the world. In establishing the importance that these organizations have for the dissemination of activities globally and acting as key participants in IAU various campaigns social media has played a key role in keeping this network engaged and connected. Here we discuss the implementation process of maintaining this extensive network, the processing and gathering of information and the interactions between local active members at a national and international level.

  16. An astronomical observatory for Peru

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    del Mar, Juan Quintanilla; Sicardy, Bruno; Giraldo, Víctor Ayma; Callo, Víctor Raúl Aguilar

    2011-06-01

    Peru and France are to conclude an agreement to provide Peru with an astronomical observatory equipped with a 60-cm diameter telescope. The principal aims of this project are to establish and develop research and teaching in astronomy. Since 2004, a team of researchers from Paris Observatory has been working with the University of Cusco (UNSAAC) on the educational, technical and financial aspects of implementing this venture. During an international astronomy conference in Cusco in July 2009, the foundation stone of the future Peruvian Observatory was laid at the top of Pachatusan Mountain. UNSAAC, represented by its Rector, together with the town of Oropesa and the Cusco regional authority, undertook to make the sum of 300,000€ available to the project. An agreement between Paris Observatory and UNSAAC now enables Peruvian students to study astronomy through online teaching.

  17. Goddard Geophysical and Astronomical Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Figueroa, Ricardo

    2013-01-01

    This report summarizes the technical parameters and the technical staff of the VLBI system at the fundamental station GGAO. It also gives an overview about the VLBI activities during the report year. The Goddard Geophysical and Astronomical Observatory (GGAO) consists of a 5-meter radio telescope for VLBI, a new 12-meter radio telescope for VLBI2010 development, a 1-meter reference antenna for microwave holography development, an SLR site that includes MOBLAS-7, the NGSLR development system, and a 48" telescope for developmental two-color Satellite Laser Ranging, a GPS timing and development lab, a DORIS system, meteorological sensors, and a hydrogen maser. In addition, we are a fiducial IGS site with several IGS/IGSX receivers. GGAO is located on the east coast of the United States in Maryland. It is approximately 15 miles NNE of Washington, D.C. in Greenbelt, Maryland.

  18. Astronomical Software---A Review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shortridge, K.

    It is now impossible to imagine `doing astronomy' without using software. Sometimes it is hard to remember that it has not always been like this. Over a timescale now measured in decades, the art (or science) of astronomical programming has evolved. Once it involved the squeezing of hand-crafted assembler routines into insufficient memory. Now it includes the design of ambitiously large frameworks for data acquisition and reduction. The organisation required for the production of such software has had to grow to match these new ambitions. This review looks back on the path taken by this fascinating evolutionary process, in the hope that it can provide a background that may let us imagine where the next years will lead.

  19. Astronomical Image Processing with Hadoop

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wiley, K.; Connolly, A.; Krughoff, S.; Gardner, J.; Balazinska, M.; Howe, B.; Kwon, Y.; Bu, Y.

    2011-07-01

    In the coming decade astronomical surveys of the sky will generate tens of terabytes of images and detect hundreds of millions of sources every night. With a requirement that these images be analyzed in real time to identify moving sources such as potentially hazardous asteroids or transient objects such as supernovae, these data streams present many computational challenges. In the commercial world, new techniques that utilize cloud computing have been developed to handle massive data streams. In this paper we describe how cloud computing, and in particular the map-reduce paradigm, can be used in astronomical data processing. We will focus on our experience implementing a scalable image-processing pipeline for the SDSS database using Hadoop (http://hadoop.apache.org). This multi-terabyte imaging dataset approximates future surveys such as those which will be conducted with the LSST. Our pipeline performs image coaddition in which multiple partially overlapping images are registered, integrated and stitched into a single overarching image. We will first present our initial implementation, then describe several critical optimizations that have enabled us to achieve high performance, and finally describe how we are incorporating a large in-house existing image processing library into our Hadoop system. The optimizations involve prefiltering of the input to remove irrelevant images from consideration, grouping individual FITS files into larger, more efficient indexed files, and a hybrid system in which a relational database is used to determine the input images relevant to the task. The incorporation of an existing image processing library, written in C++, presented difficult challenges since Hadoop is programmed primarily in Java. We will describe how we achieved this integration and the sophisticated image processing routines that were made feasible as a result. We will end by briefly describing the longer term goals of our work, namely detection and classification

  20. Some new astronomical facilities in China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Shouguan

    1989-10-01

    For the 1990's, plans for some astronomical facilities and related research are being carried out in China. This report describes in some detail plans for radio astronomical facilities, a 150/220 cm Schmidt telescope, and experiments on a porcelain mirror material.

  1. Conceptual Astronomy Knowledge among Amateur Astronomers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Berendsen, Margaret L.

    2005-01-01

    Amateur astronomers regularly serve as informal astronomy educators for their communities. This research inquires into the level of knowledge of basic astronomy concepts among amateur astronomers and examines factors related to amateur astronomy that affect that knowledge. Using the concept questions from the Astronomy Diagnostic Test Version 2,…

  2. Exploration and Fulfilment of Astronomical Literature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Yong-Bo; Guo, Hong-Feng

    2007-09-01

    The characteristic of the fulltext database and the database technique are analyzed in this paper. Development of the astronomical full text search system on the basis of Lucene search engine is also introduced. The system deals with astronomical literature without the background database. The system works well on the internet.

  3. Astronomical observatory for shuttle. Phase A study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Guthals, D. L.

    1973-01-01

    The design, development, and configuration of the astronomical observatory for shuttle are discussed. The characteristics of the one meter telescope in the spaceborne observatory are described. A variety of basic spectroscopic and image recording instruments and detectors which will permit a large variety of astronomical observations are reported. The stDC 37485elines which defined the components of the observatory are outlined.

  4. Aristotle University Astronomical Station at Mt. Holomon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Avdellidou, C.; Ioannidis, P.; Kouroubatzakis, K.; Nitsos, A.; Vakoulis, J.; Seiradakis, J. H.

    2012-01-01

    The Aristotle University Astronomical Station was established seven years ago in order to fulfill the educational needs of its students. Astronomical observations are undertaken using three fully equipped small telescopes. Some interesting results are presented below, including the study of asteroids and flare stars, the detection of optical emission from supernovae remnants and follow up observations in extra solar planets.

  5. The Fiber Multi-object Spectrograph (FMOS) Project: the Anglo-Australian Observatory role

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gillingham, Peter R.; Moore, Anna M.; Akiyama, Masayuki; Brzeski, Jurek; Correll, David; Dawson, John; Farrell, Tony J.; Frost, Gabriella; Griesbach, Jason S.; Haynes, Roger; Jones, Damien; Miziarski, Stan; Muller, Rolf; Smedley, Scott; Smith, Greg; Waller, Lew G.; Noakes, Katie; Arridge, Chris

    2003-03-01

    The Fiber Multi-Object Spectrograph (FMOS) project is an Australia-Japan-UK collaboration to design and build a novel 400 fiber positioner feeding two near infrared spectrographs from the prime focus of the Subaru telescope. The project comprises several parts. Those under design and construction at the Anglo-Australian Observatory (AAO) are the piezoelectric actuator driven fiber positioner (Echidna), a wide field (30 arcmin) corrector and a focal plane imager (FPI) used for controlling the positioner and for field acquisition. This paper presents an overview of the AAO share of the FMOS project. It describes the technical infrastructure required to extend the single Echidna "spine" design to a fully functioning multi-fiber instrument, capable of complete field reconfiguration in less than ten minutes. The modular Echidna system is introduced, wherein the field of view is populated by 12 identical rectangular modules, each positioning 40 science fibers and 2 guide fiber bundles. This arrangement allows maintenance by exchanging modules and minimizes the difficulties of construction. The associated electronics hardware, in itself a significant challenge, includes a 23 layer PCB board, able to supply current to each piezoelectric element in the module. The FPI is a dual purpose imaging system translating in two coordinates and is located beneath the assembled modules. The FPI measures the spine positions as well as acquiring sky images for instrument calibration and for field acquisition. An overview of the software is included.

  6. ALICE: The Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph Aboard the New Horizons Pluto-Kuiper Belt Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stern, S. Alan; Slater, David C.; Scherrer, John; Stone, John; Dirks, Greg; Versteeg, Maarten; Davis, Michael; Gladstone, G. Randall; Parker, Joel W.; Young, Leslie A.; Siegmund, Oswald H. W.

    2008-10-01

    The ALICE instrument is a lightweight (4.4 kg), low-power (4.4 watt) imaging spectrograph aboard the New Horizons mission to the Pluto system and the Kuiper Belt. Its primary job is to determine the relative abundances of various species in Pluto’s atmosphere. ALICE will also be used to search for an atmosphere around Pluto’s moon, Charon, as well as the Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) that New Horizons is expected to fly by after Pluto-Charon, and it will make UV surface reflectivity measurements of all of these bodies, as well as of Pluto’s smaller moons Nix and Hydra. The instrument incorporates an off-axis telescope feeding a Rowland-circle spectrograph with a 520-1870 Å spectral passband, a spectral point spread function of 3-6 Å FWHM, and an instantaneous spatial field-of-view that is 6 degrees long. Two different input apertures that feed the telescope allow for both airglow and solar occultation observations during the mission. The focal plane detector is an imaging microchannel plate (MCP) double delay-line detector with dual solar-blind opaque photocathodes (KBr and CsI) and a focal surface that matches the instrument’s 15-cm diameter Rowland-circle. In this paper, we describe the instrument in greater detail, including descriptions of its ground calibration and initial in flight performance. New Horizons launched on 19 January 2006.

  7. Spectrographic temperature measurement of a high power breakdown arc in a high pressure gas switch

    SciTech Connect

    Yeckel, Christopher; Curry, Randy

    2011-09-15

    A procedure for obtaining an approximate temperature value of conducting plasma generated during self-break closure of a RIMFIRE gas switch is described. The plasma is in the form of a breakdown arc which conducts approximately 12 kJ of energy in 1 {mu}s. A spectrographic analysis of the trigger-section of the 6-MV RIMFIRE laser triggered gas switch used in Sandia National Laboratory's ''Z-Machine'' has been made. It is assumed that the breakdown plasma has sufficiently approached local thermodynamic equilibrium allowing a black-body temperature model to be applied. This model allows the plasma temperature and radiated power to be approximated. The gas dielectric used in these tests was pressurized SF{sub 6}. The electrode gap is set at 4.59 cm for each test. The electrode material is stainless steel and insulator material is poly(methyl methacrylate). A spectrum range from 220 to 550 nanometers has been observed and calibrated using two spectral irradiance lamps and three spectrograph gratings. The approximate plasma temperature is reported.

  8. Astronomical catalog desk reference, 1994 edition

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1994-01-01

    The Astronomical Catalog Desk Reference is designed to aid astronomers in locating machine readable catalogs in the Astronomical Data Center (ADC) archives. The key reference components of this document are as follows: A listing of shortened titles for all catalogs available from the ADC (includes the name of the lead author and year of publication), brief descriptions of over 300 astronomical catalogs, an index of ADC catalog numbers by subject keyword, and an index of ADC catalog numbers by author. The heart of this document is the set of brief descriptions generated by the ADC staff. The 1994 edition of the Astronomical Catalog Desk Reference contains descriptions for over one third of the catalogs in the ADC archives. Readers are encouraged to refer to this section for concise summaries of those catalogs and their contents.

  9. Astronomical Photographic Plate Collections: Treasure or Trash?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osborn, W. H.; Castelaz, M. W.; Cline, J. D.

    2005-12-01

    Our efforts over the past three years to establish a national archive for astronomical plates will be described. This work has led to the following major conclusions regarding the preservation of astronomical photographic plates: (1) a significant number of observatories, as well as retiring astronomers, wish to dispose of the plates they hold; (2) most astronomers feel direct and spectroscopic plates of potential scientific value should be preserved; (3) there is little interest in providing support for preservation efforts on a broad scale. We offer that the astronomical community must quickly decide to preserve plate collections or they will soon be lost, either consciously discarded or through benign neglect. If a systematic effort to preserve these archival data is indeed to be made, priorities need to be established. Not only is archiving (and eventually digitizing) all existing plates impracticable, many plates have little or no potential value. We will present our ideas on priorities and seek the input of the community.

  10. Construction of pre-slit system of Chinese SONG spectrograph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, Pengfei; Hu, Zhongwen; Dai, Songxin

    2015-10-01

    The pre-slit system of Chinese SONG spectrograph is a multi-function unit. The main function is to direct the incoming light from the coudé path to the entrance slit of the spectrograph. The specific functions includes maintaining exit pupil stable, fast guiding and telescope focus corrections. The original optics of this pre-slit system were designed by Aarhus University in Denmark. We built the system and designed the software for it. This system holds a guide/slit-viewing camera, a pupil-viewing camera, two tip-tilt mirrors and its tip-tilt controllers. So it includes two sets of the fast-steering mirror systems applied to image tracking and correction. When this image tracking and correction systems is running, the real-time software algorithm will be presented and simulated simultaneously. From the images taken with camera, a closed loop signals are generated for the tip-tilt mirror to correct image motion. When the camera exposure time is 25ms,the correcting frequency of slit imge tip-tilt motion is about 30Hz. The correcting frequency of pupil imge tip-tilt motion is about 1Hz. In addition, a temperature control system surrounding the spectrograph is necessary to keep spectrograph at a constant temperature. The test results shows that the error is about +/-0.005°C in 69.4 hours. The results prove that the pre-slit system of Chinese SONG spectrograph is effective and feasible.

  11. An introduction to the World Space Observatory-Ultraviolet spectrographs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hermanutz, S.; Barnstedt, J.; Diebold, S.; Elsener, H. R.; Ganz, P. R.; Kalkuhl, C.; Kappelmann, N.; Pfeifer, M.; Tanirah, O.; Sachkov, M.; Schaadt, D. M.; Schanz, T.; Shustov, B. M.; Werner, K.

    2012-09-01

    The World Space Observatory Ultraviolet (WSO-UV) is a multinational mission under the leadership of Russia with contributions of Spain and Germany. The mission is part of the Spektrum series and launch is currently scheduled for 2016. It consists of a 1.7m mirror focusing on spectrographs in the range of 102-310 nm withh a resolution of R >= 55,000 for high resolution spectral observations, a long-slit-spectrograph for spatially resolved observations and an imager. According to the Phase-B-Study all spectrographs will use the same detectors built by the IAAT. These spectrographs are designed to observe cosmic plasma with temperatures of several ten thousands Kelvin and atomic transition lines of all important atoms and molecuules like H2, CO, OH eetc. In knowledge about the formation of galaxies and analyze the atmospheres of extrasolar planets and protoplanetary discs. To achieve these goals the IAAT designed in cooperation with the Leibniz-Institute for Analytical Sciences (ISAS Berlin) the spectrographs. In addition Tubingen develops and builds a new type of michrchannel plate detector based on gallim nitride cathods and a cross-strip-anode.

  12. The optical design of wide integral field infrared spectrograph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chou, Richard C. Y.; Moon, Dae-Sik; Eikenberry, Stephen S.

    2010-07-01

    We present the optical design of the Wide Integral Field Infrared Spectrograph (WIFIS) which provides an unprecedented combination of the integral field size and the spectral resolving power in the near-infrared wavebands. The integral field size and spectral resolving power of WIFIS are ~ 5× 12on a 10-m telescope (or equivalently 13× 30on a 4-m telescope) and ~ 5300, respectively. Therefore, the affordable etendue of WIFIS is larger than any other near-infrared integral field spectrographs while its spectral resolving power is comparable to the highest value provided by other spectrographs. WIFIS optical system comprises an Offner relay-based pre-slit unit, an image slicer for integral-field unit, a collimator, diffraction gratings, and a spectrograph camera. For the integral field unit, WIFIS uses the Florida Image Slicer for Infrared Cosmological and Astrophysics which is a set of 3 monolithic mirror arrays housing 22 image slicers. The collimator system consists of one off-axis parabola and two lenses, while WIFIS relies on 3 different gratings to cover the entire JHK bands. The spectrograph camera uses 6 lenses of CaF2 and SFTM16, delivering the f/3 final beam onto a Hawaii II RG 2K × 2K detector array. WIFIS will be an ideal instrument to study the dynamics and chemistry of extended objects.

  13. The infrared imaging spectrograph (IRIS) for TMT: reflective ruled diffraction grating performance testing and discussion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meyer, Elliot; Chen, Shaojie; Wright, Shelley A.; Moore, Anna M.; Larkin, James E.; Simard, Luc; Marie, Jerome; Mieda, Etsuko; Gordon, Jacob

    2014-07-01

    predictions. This work will significantly contribute to the selection of the final grating type and vendor for the IRIS optical system, and are also pertinent to current and future near-infrared astronomical spectrographs.

  14. The infrared imaging spectrograph (IRIS) for TMT: volume phase holographic grating performance testing and discussion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Shaojie; Meyer, Elliot; Wright, Shelley A.; Moore, Anna M.; Larkin, James E.; Maire, Jerome; Mieda, Etsuko; Simard, Luc

    2014-07-01

    Maximizing the grating efficiency is a key goal for the first light instrument IRIS (Infrared Imaging Spectrograph) currently being designed to sample the diffraction limit of the TMT (Thirty Meter Telescope). Volume Phase Holographic (VPH) gratings have been shown to offer extremely high efficiencies that approach 100% for high line frequencies (i.e., 600 to 6000l/mm), which has been applicable for astronomical optical spectrographs. However, VPH gratings have been less exploited in the near-infrared, particularly for gratings that have lower line frequencies. Given their potential to offer high throughputs and low scattered light, VPH gratings are being explored for IRIS as a potential dispersing element in the spectrograph. Our team has procured near-infrared gratings from two separate vendors. We have two gratings with the specifications needed for IRIS current design: 1.51-1.82μm (H-band) to produce a spectral resolution of 4000 and 1.19-1.37μm (J-band) to produce a spectral resolution of 8000. The center wavelengths for each grating are 1.629μm and 1.27μm, and the groove densities are 177l/mm and 440l/mm for H-band R=4000 and J-band R=8000, respectively. We directly measure the efficiencies in the lab and find that the peak efficiencies of these two types of gratings are quite good with a peak efficiency of ~88% at the Bragg angle in both TM and TE modes at H-band, and 90.23% in TM mode, 79.91% in TE mode at J-band for the best vendor. We determine the drop in efficiency off the Bragg angle, with a 20-23% decrease in efficiency at H-band when 2.5° deviation from the Bragg angle, and 25%-28% decrease at J-band when 5° deviation from the Bragg angle.

  15. Volume phase holographic gratings for the Subaru Prime Focus Spectrograph: performance measurements of the prototype grating set

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barkhouser, Robert H.; Arns, James; Gunn, James E.

    2014-08-01

    The Prime Focus Spectrograph (PFS) is a major instrument under development for the 8.2 m Subaru telescope on Mauna Kea. Four identical, fixed spectrograph modules are located in a room above one Nasmyth focus. A 55 m fiber optic cable feeds light into the spectrographs from a robotic fiber positioner mounted at the telescope prime focus, behind the wide field corrector developed for Hyper Suprime-Cam. The positioner contains 2400 fibers and covers a 1.3 degree hexagonal field of view. Each spectrograph module will be capable of simultaneously acquiring 600 spectra. The spectrograph optical design consists of a Schmidt collimator, two dichroic beamsplitters to separate the light into three channels, and for each channel a volume phase holographic (VPH) grating and a dual- corrector, modified Schmidt reimaging camera. This design provides a 275 mm collimated beam diameter, wide simultaneous wavelength coverage from 380 nm to 1.26 µm, and good imaging performance at the fast f/1.1 focal ratio required from the cameras to avoid oversampling the fibers. The three channels are designated as the blue, red, and near-infrared (NIR), and cover the bandpasses 380-650 nm (blue), 630-970 nm (red), and 0.94-1.26 µm (NIR). A mosaic of two Hamamatsu 2k×4k, 15 µm pixel CCDs records the spectra in the blue and red channels, while the NIR channel employs a 4k×4k, substrate-removed HAWAII-4RG array from Teledyne, with 15 µm pixels and a 1.7 µm wavelength cutoff. VPH gratings have become the dispersing element of choice for moderate-resolution astronomical spectro- graphs due their potential for very high diffraction efficiency, low scattered light, and the more compact instru- ment designs offered by transmissive dispersers. High quality VPH gratings are now routinely being produced in the sizes required for instruments on large telescopes. These factors made VPH gratings an obvious choice for PFS. In order to reduce risk to the project, as well as fully exploit the performance

  16. A Survey of Astronomical Research: A Baseline for Astronomical Development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ribeiro, V. A. R. M.; Russo, P.; Cárdenas-Avendaño, A.

    2013-12-01

    Measuring scientific development is a difficult task. Different metrics have been put forward to evaluate scientific development; in this paper we explore a metric that uses the number of peer-reviewed, and when available non-peer-reviewed, research articles as an indicator of development in the field of astronomy. We analyzed the available publication record, using the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory/NASA Astrophysics Database System, by country affiliation in the time span between 1950 and 2011 for countries with a gross national income of less than 14,365 USD in 2010. This represents 149 countries. We propose that this metric identifies countries in "astronomical development" with a culture of research publishing. We also propose that for a country to develop in astronomy, it should invest in outside expert visits, send its staff abroad to study, and establish a culture of scientific publishing. Furthermore, we propose that this paper may be used as a baseline to measure the success of major international projects, such as the International Year of Astronomy 2009.

  17. A SURVEY OF ASTRONOMICAL RESEARCH: A BASELINE FOR ASTRONOMICAL DEVELOPMENT

    SciTech Connect

    Ribeiro, V. A. R. M.; Russo, P.; Cárdenas-Avendaño, A. E-mail: russo@strw.leidenuniv.nl

    2013-12-01

    Measuring scientific development is a difficult task. Different metrics have been put forward to evaluate scientific development; in this paper we explore a metric that uses the number of peer-reviewed, and when available non-peer-reviewed, research articles as an indicator of development in the field of astronomy. We analyzed the available publication record, using the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory/NASA Astrophysics Database System, by country affiliation in the time span between 1950 and 2011 for countries with a gross national income of less than 14,365 USD in 2010. This represents 149 countries. We propose that this metric identifies countries in ''astronomical development'' with a culture of research publishing. We also propose that for a country to develop in astronomy, it should invest in outside expert visits, send its staff abroad to study, and establish a culture of scientific publishing. Furthermore, we propose that this paper may be used as a baseline to measure the success of major international projects, such as the International Year of Astronomy 2009.

  18. The control unit of the near infrared spectrograph of the Euclid space mission: detailed design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toledo-Moreo, Rafael; Colodro-Conde, Carlos; Gómez-Sáenz-de-Tejada, Jaime; Pérez-Lizán, David; Díaz-García, José Javier; Tubío-Araujo, Óscar; Raichs, Cayetano; Catalán, Jordi; Rebolo-López, Rafael

    2016-07-01

    The Near Infrared Spectrograph and Photometer (NISP) is one of the instruments on board the ESA EUCLID mission. The Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena and Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias are responsible of the Instrument Control Unit of the NISP (NI-ICU) in the Euclid Consortium. The NI-ICU hardware is developed by CRISA (Airbus Defence and Space), and its main functions are: communication with the S/C and the Data Processing Unit, control of the Filter and Grism Wheels, control of the Calibration Unit and thermal control of the instrument. This paper presents the NI-ICU status of definition and design at the end of the detailed design phase.

  19. Radiometric performance results of the New Horizons' ALICE UV imaging spectrograph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Slater, David C.; Davis, Michael W.; Olkin, Catherine B.; Scherrer, John; Stern, S. Alan

    2005-09-01

    We describe the radiometric performance and calibration results of the New Horizons' ALICE flight model. This ALICE is a lightweight (4.4 kg), low-power (4.4 W), ultraviolet spectrograph based on the ALICE instrument now in flight aboard the European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft. Its primary job will be to detect a variety of important atomic and molecular species in Pluto's atmosphere, and to determine their relative abundances so that a complete picture of Pluto's atmospheric composition can be determined for the first time. ALICE will also be used to search for an atmosphere around Pluto's moon, Charon, as well as the Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) New Horizons hopes to fly by after Pluto-Charon. Detailed radiometric performance results of the ALICE flight model are presented and discussed.

  20. Update on the Status of the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph onboard the Hubble Space Telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hernandez, Svea; Aloisi, A.; Bostroem, K. A.; Cox, C.; Debes, J. H.; DiFelice, A.; Roman-Duval, J.; Hodge, P.; Holland, S.; Lindsay, K.; Lockwood, S. A.; Mason, E.; Oliveira, C. M.; Penton, S. V.; Proffitt, C. R.; Sonnentrucker, P.; Taylor, J. M.; Wheeler, T.

    2013-06-01

    The Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) has been on orbit for approximately 16 years as one of the 2nd generation instruments on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). Its operations were interrupted by an electronics failure in 2004, but STIS was successfully repaired in May 2009 during Service Mission 4 (SM4) allowing it to resume science observations. The Instrument team continues to monitor its performance and work towards improving the quality of its products. Here we present updated information on the status of the FUV and NUV MAMA and the CCD detectors onboard STIS and describe recent changes to the STIS calibration pipeline. We also discuss the status of efforts to apply a pixel-based correction for charge transfer inefficiency (CTI) effects to STIS CCD data. These techniques show promise for ameliorating the effects of ongoing radiation damage on the quality of STIS CCD data.

  1. Anemometer calibrator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bate, T.; Calkins, D. E.; Price, P.; Veikins, O.

    1971-01-01

    Calibrator generates accurate flow velocities over wide range of gas pressure, temperature, and composition. Both pressure and flow velocity can be maintained within 0.25 percent. Instrument is essentially closed loop hydraulic system containing positive displacement drive.

  2. The construction, alignment, and installation of the VIRUS spectrograph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tuttle, Sarah E.; Hill, Gary J.; Lee, Hanshin; Vattiat, Brian; Noyola, Eva; Drory, Niv; Cornell, Mark; Peterson, Trent; Chonis, Taylor; Allen, Richard; Dalton, Gavin; DePoy, Darren; Edmonston, Doug; Fabricius, Maximillian; Haynes, Dionne; Kelz, Andreas; Landriau, Martin; Lesser, Michael; Leach, Bob; Marshall, Jennifer; Murphy, Jeremy; Perry, David; Prochaska, Travis; Ramsey, Jason; Savage, Richard

    2014-07-01

    VIRUS is the massively replicated fiber-fed spectrograph being built for the Hobby-Eberly Telescope to support HETDEX (the Hobby-Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment). The instrument consists of 156 identical channels, fed by 34,944 fibers contained in 78 integral field units, deployed in the 22 arcminute field of the upgraded HET. VIRUS covers 350-550nm at R ≍ 700 and is built to target Lyman α emitters at 1.9 < z < 3.5 to measure the evolution of dark energy. Here we present the assembly line construction of the VIRUS spectrographs, including their alignment and plans for characterization. We briefly discuss plans for installation on the telescope. The spectrographs are being installed on the HET in several stages, and the instrument is due for completion by the end of 2014.

  3. Sky background subtraction with fiber-fed spectrographs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Puech, M.; Rodrigues, M.; Yang, Y.; Flores, H.; Royer, F.; Disseau, K.; Gonçalves, T.; Hammer, F.; Cirasuolo, M.; Evans, C. J.; Li Causi, G.; Maiolino, R.; Melo, C.

    2014-08-01

    Fiber-fed spectrographs can now have throughputs equivalent to slit spectrographs. However, the sky subtraction accuracy that can be reached on such instruments has often been pinpointed as one of their major issues, in relation to difficulties in scattered light and flat-field corrections or throughput losses associated with fibers. Using technical time observations with FLAMES-GIRAFFE, two observing techniques, namely dual staring and cross beam switching modes, were tested and the resulting sky subtraction accuracy reached in both cases was quantified. Results indicate that an accuracy of 0.6% on the sky subtraction can be reached, provided that the cross beam switching mode is used. This is very encouraging regarding the detection of very faint sources with future fiber-fed spectrographs such as VLT/MOONS or E-ELT/MOSAIC.

  4. Optical design of the SuMIRe/PFS spectrograph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pascal, Sandrine; Vives, Sébastien; Barkhouser, Robert; Gunn, James E.

    2014-07-01

    The SuMIRe Prime Focus Spectrograph (PFS), developed for the 8-m class SUBARU telescope, will consist of four identical spectrographs, each receiving 600 fibers from a 2394 fiber robotic positioner at the telescope prime focus. Each spectrograph includes three spectral channels to cover the wavelength range [0.38-1.26] um with a resolving power ranging between 2000 and 4000. A medium resolution mode is also implemented to reach a resolving power of 5000 at 0.8 um. Each spectrograph is made of 4 optical units: the entrance unit which produces three corrected collimated beams and three camera units (one per spectral channel: "blue, "red", and "NIR"). The beam is split by using two large dichroics; and in each arm, the light is dispersed by large VPH gratings (about 280x280mm). The proposed optical design was optimized to achieve the requested image quality while simplifying the manufacturing of the whole optical system. The camera design consists in an innovative Schmidt camera observing a large field-of-view (10 degrees) with a very fast beam (F/1.09). To achieve such a performance, the classical spherical mirror is replaced by a catadioptric mirror (i.e meniscus lens with a reflective surface on the rear side of the glass, like a Mangin mirror). This article focuses on the optical architecture of the PFS spectrograph and the perfornance achieved. We will first described the global optical design of the spectrograph. Then, we will focus on the Mangin-Schmidt camera design. The analysis of the optical performance and the results obtained are presented in the last section.

  5. Correction of stray light in spectrographs: implications for remote sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zong, Yuqin; Brown, Steven W.; Johnson, B. C.; Lykke, Keith R.; Ohno, Yoshi

    2005-08-01

    Spectrographs are used in a variety of applications in the field of remote sensing for radiometric measurements due to the benefits of measurement speed, sensitivity, and portability. However, spectrographs are single grating instruments that are susceptible to systematic errors arising from stray radiation within the instrument. In the application of measurements of ocean color, stray light of the spectrographs has led to significant measurement errors. In this work, a simple method to correct stray-light errors in a spectrograph is described. By measuring a set of monochromatic laser sources that cover the instrument's spectral range, the instrument's stray-light property is characterized and a stray-light correction matrix is derived. The matrix is then used to correct the stray-light error in measured raw signals by a simple matrix multiplication, which is fast enough to be implemented in the spectrograph's firmware or software to perform real-time corrections: an important feature for remote sensing applications. The results of corrections on real instruments demonstrated that the stray-light errors were reduced by one to two orders of magnitude, to a level of approximately 10-5 for a broadband source measurement, which is a level less than one count of a 15-bit resolution instrument. As a stray-light correction example, the errors in measurement of solar spectral irradiance using a highquality spectrograph optimized for UV measurements are analyzed; the stray-light correction leads to reduction of errors from a 10 % level to a 1 % level in the UV region. This method is expected to contribute to achieving a 0.1 % level of uncertainty required for future remote-sensing applications.

  6. National Student Solar Spectrograph Competition Overview and Results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Des Jardins, Angela C.; Larimer, R.; Shaw, J. A.; Kankelborg, C.; Palmer, C.; Key, J. S.; Nakagawa, W.; Springer, L.; Knighton, W.; Repasky, K. S.; Pust, N. J.; Babbitt, W.; Jaeggli, S. A.; Hobish, M. K.; Wilson, E. W.; Anderson, M.; Boger, J.; McCrady, N.; Naylor, J.; Turcotte, S.; Lines, T.; Strobel, N.; Cooper, W.; Darke, R.; Head, R.; Kimball, D.; Kissel, G.; Buck, K.; Lawrence, L.; Wragg, J.; Runyon, C. J.; Spacher, P.; Dumitriu, I.; Nollenberg, J. G.; Estaban, R.

    2013-07-01

    The yearly National Student Solar Spectrograph Competition (NSSSC) is Montana Space Grant Consortium's Education and Public Outreach (EP/O) Program for NASA's Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) mission. The NSSSC is designed to give institutions with less aerospace activity such as Minority Serving Institutions and Community Colleges an opportunity for hands on real world research experience. The NSSSC provides students from across the country the opportunity to work as part of an undergraduate interdisciplinary team to design, build and test a ground based solar spectrograph. Over the course of nine months, teams come up with their own science goals and then build an instrument to collect data in support of their goals. Teams then travel to Bozeman, MT to demonstrate their instruments and present their results in a competitive science fair environment. This poster will present the 2012-2013 competition results.Abstract (2,250 Maximum Characters): The yearly National Student Solar Spectrograph Competition (NSSSC) is Montana Space Grant Consortium's Education and Public Outreach (EP/O) Program for NASA's Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) mission. The NSSSC is designed to give institutions with less aerospace activity such as Minority Serving Institutions and Community Colleges an opportunity for hands on real world research experience. The NSSSC provides students from across the country the opportunity to work as part of an undergraduate interdisciplinary team to design, build and test a ground based solar spectrograph. Over the course of nine months, teams come up with their own science goals and then build an instrument to collect data in support of their goals. Teams then travel to Bozeman, MT to demonstrate their instruments and present their results in a competitive science fair environment. This poster will present the 2012-2013 competition results.

  7. The AVES adaptive optics spectrograph for the VLT: status report

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pallavicini, Roberto; Delabre, Bernard; Pasquini, Luca; Zerbi, Filippo M.; Bonanno, Giovanni; Comari, Maurizio; Conconi, Paolo; Mazzoleni, Ruben; Santin, Paolo; Damiani, Francesco; Di Marcantonio, Paolo; Franchini, Mariagrazia; Spano, Paolo; Bonifacio, P.; Catalano, Santo; Molaro, Paolo P.; Randich, S.; Rodono, Marcello

    2003-03-01

    We report on the status of AVES, the Adaptive-optics Visual Echelle Spectrograph proposed for the secondary port of the Nasmyth Adaptive Optics System (NAOS) recently installed at the VLT. AVES is an intermediate resolution (R ≍ 16,000) high-efficiency fixed- format echelle spectrograph which operates in the spectral band 500 - 1,000 nm. In addition to a high intrinsic efficiency, comparable to that of ESI at Keck II, it takes advantage of the adaptive optics correction provided by NAOS to reduce the sky and detector contribution in background-limited observations of weak sources, thus allowing a further magnitude gain with respect to comparable non-adaptive optics spectrographs. Simulations show that the instrument will be capable of reaching a magnitude V = 22.5 at S/N > 10 in two hours, two magnitudes weaker than GIRAFFE at the same resolution and 3 magnitudes weaker than the higher resolution UVES spectrograph. Imaging and coronographic functions have also been implemented in the design. We present the results of the final design study and we dicuss the technical and operational issues related to its implementation at the VLT as a visitor instrument. We also discuss the possibility of using a scaled-up non-adaptive optics version of the same design as an element of a double- or triple-arm intermediate-resolution spectrograph for the VLT. Such an option looks attractive in the context of a high-efficiency large-bandwidth (320 - 1,500 nm) spectrograph ("fast-shooter") being considered by ESO as a 2nd-generation VLT instrument.

  8. Extreme Precision Environmental Control for Next Generation Radial Velocity Spectrographs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stefansson, Gudmundur K.; Hearty, Fred; Levi, Eric; Robertson, Paul; Mahadevan, Suvrath; Bender, Chad; Nelson, Matt; Halverson, Samuel

    2015-12-01

    Extreme radial velocity precisions of order 10cm/s will enable the discoveries of Earth-like planets around solar-type stars. Temperature and pressure variations inside a spectrograph can lead to thermomechanical instabilities in the optics and mounts, and refractive index variations in both the optical elements as well as the surrounding air. Together, these variations can easily induce instrumental drifts of several tens to hundreds of meters per second. Enclosing the full optical train in thermally stabilized high-vacuum environments minimizes such errors. In this talk, I will discuss the Environmental Control System (ECS) for the Habitable Zone Planet Finder (HPF) spectrograph: a near infrared (NIR) facility class instrument we will commission at the Hobby Eberly Telescope in 2016. The ECS will maintain the HPF optical bench stable at 180K at the sub milli-Kelvin level on the timescale of days, and at the few milli-Kelvin level over months to years. The entire spectrograph is kept under high-quality vacuum (<10-6 Torr), and environmental temperature fluctuations are compensated for with an actively controlled radiation shield outfitted with custom feedback electronics. High efficiency Multi-Layer Insulation (MLI) blankets, and a passive external thermal enclosure further isolate the optics from ambient perturbations. This environmental control scheme is versatile, suitable to stabilize both next generation NIR, and optical spectrographs. I will show how we are currently testing this control system for use with our design concept of the Extreme Precision Doppler Spectrograph (EPDS), the next generation optical spectrograph for the WIYN 3.5m telescope. Our most recent results from full-scale stability tests will be presented.

  9. Radiometric performance results of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter's Lyman Alpha Mapping Project (LRO/LAMP) UV imaging spectrograph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davis, Michael W.; Slater, David C.; Gladstone, G. Randall; Stern, S. Alan; Greathouse, Thomas K.; Retherford, Kurt D.; Versteeg, Maarten H.; Black, Ronald K.

    2009-08-01

    We describe the pre-flight radiometric performance and calibration results of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter's Lyman Alpha Mapping Project (LRO/LAMP) flight model. LAMP is a lightweight (6.1 kg), low-power (4.5 W), ultraviolet spectrograph based on the ALICE instruments now in flight aboard the European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft and NASA's New Horizons spacecraft. Its primary job will be to identify and localize exposed water frost in permanently shadowed regions (PSRs), and to characterize landforms and albedos in PSRs. Detailed radiometric performance results of the LAMP flight model are presented and discussed.

  10. GRASSP: a spectrograph for the study of transient luminous events.

    PubMed

    Passas, María; Sánchez, Justo; Sánchez-Blanco, Ernesto; Luque, Alejandro; Gordillo-Vázquez, Francisco J

    2016-08-10

    We present the main parameters, design features, and optical characterization of the Granada Sprite Spectrograph and Polarimeter (GRASSP), a ground-based spectrographic system intended for the analysis of the spectroscopic signature of transient luminous events (TLEs) occurring in the mesosphere of the Earth. It has been designed to measure the spectra of the light emitted from TLEs with a mean spectral resolution of 0.235 nm and 0.07 nm/px dispersion in the wavelength range between 700 and 800 nm. PMID:27534491

  11. The current status of the UK-FMOS spectrograph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tosh, Ian A.; Woodhouse, Guy F.; Froud, Tim; Dowell, Allan; Patel, Mukesh; Wallner, Mattias; Lewis, Ian J.; Dalton, Gavin B.; Holmes, Alan; Brooks, Barney; Band, Cyril; Bonfield, David G.; Murray, Graham J.; Robertson, David J.; Dipper, Nigel A.

    2004-09-01

    FMOS is a near-IR OH-suppressed multi-fibre fed spectrograph for the Subaru telescope. The spectrograph will accept 200 optical fibres from the ECHIDNA positioner system at the 30arcmin Prime focus of the telescope. We will describe the recent activities here in the UK in progressing the instrument from its conceptual phase through detailed design and into manufacture. A variety of technical areas will be described including: the opto-mechanical system design and construction, development of the HAWAII-II detector control system, the thermal system design & control and OH suppression techniques.

  12. An integral field spectrograph for SNAP supernova studies

    SciTech Connect

    Ealet, Anne; Prieto, E.; Bonissent, A.; Malina, R.; Basa, S.; LeFevre, O.; Mazure, A.; Tarle, G.; Akerlof, C.W.; Aldering, G.; Amidei, D.E.; Astier, P.; Baden, A.R.; Bebek, C.; Bergstrom, L.; Bernstein, G.M.; Bower, C.R.; Campbell, M.; Carithers Jr., W.C.; Commins, E.D.; Curtis, D.W.; Deustua, S.E.; Edwards, W.R.; Ellis, R.S.; Fruchter, A.; Frye, B.L.; Genat, J.; Goldhaber, G.; Goobar, A.; Goodman, J.A.; Graham, J.R.; Hardin, D.; Harris, S.E.; Harvey, P.R.; Heetderks, H.D.; Honeycutt, R.; Holland, S.E.; Hook, I.; Huterer, D.; Kasen, D.N.; Kim, A.G.; Knop, R.A.; Lafever, R.; Lampton, M.L.; Levi, M.E.; Levin, D.S.; Levy, J.M.; Lidman, C.; Lin, R.P.; Linder, E.V.; Loken, S.C.; McKay, T.; McKee, S.P.; Metzger, M.R.; Miquel, R.; Mourao, A.; Mufson, S.; Musser, J.A.; Nugent, P.E.; Pain, R.; Pankow, D.H.; Pennypacker, C.R.; Perlmutter, S.; Refregier, A.; Rich, J.; Robinson, K.E.; Schahmaneche, K.; Schubnell, M.S.; Spadafora, A.; Smoot, G.F.; Sullivan, G.W.; Tomasch, A.D.; SNAP Collaboration

    2002-07-29

    A well-adapted spectrograph concept has been developed for the SNAP (SuperNova/Acceleration Probe) experiment. The goal is to ensure proper identification of Type Ia supernovae and to standardize the magnitude of each candidate by determining explosion parameters. An instrument based on an integral field method with the powerful concept of imager slicing has been designed and is presented in this paper. The spectrograph concept is optimized to have very high efficiency and low spectral resolution (R {approx} 100), constant through the wavelength range (0.35-1.7{micro}m), adapted to the scientific goals of the mission.

  13. Astronomical pipeline processing using fuzzy logic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shamir, Lior

    In the past few years, pipelines providing astronomical data have been becoming increasingly important. The wide use of robotic telescopes has provided significant discoveries, and sky survey projects such as SDSS and the future LSST are now considered among the premier projects in the field astronomy. The huge amount of data produced by these pipelines raises the need for automatic processing. Astronomical pipelines introduce several well-defined problems such as astronomical image compression, cosmic-ray hit rejection, transient detection, meteor triangulation and association of point sources with their corresponding known stellar objects. We developed and applied soft computing algorithms that provide new or improved solutions to these growing problems in the field of pipeline processing of astronomical data. One new approach that we use is fuzzy logic-based algorithms, which enables the automatic analysis of the astronomical pipelines and allows mining the data for not-yet-known astronomical discoveries such as optical transients and variable stars. The developed algorithms have been tested with excellent results on the NightSkyLive sky survey, which provides a pipeline of 150 astronomical pictures per hour, and covers almost the entire global night sky.

  14. Reporting Astronomical Discoveries: Past, Now, and Future

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamaoka, Hitoshi; Green, Daniel W. E.; Samus, Nikolai N.; West, Richard

    2015-08-01

    Many new astronomical objects have been discovered over the years by amateur astronomers, and this continues to be the case. They have traditionally reported them (as have professional astronomers) to the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams (CBAT), which was established in the 19th century. This procedure has worked very well throughout the 20th century, moving under the umbrella of the newly established IAU in 1920. The discoverers have been honored by the formal announcement of their discoveries in the publications of the CBAT.In recent years, some professional research groups have established other ways of announcing their discoveries of explosive objects such as novae and supernovae; some do not now report their discoveries or spectroscopic confirmations of the transients to the CBAT, including often spectroscopic reports of objects posted to the CBAT "Transient Objects Confirmation Page" -- the highly successful TOCP webpage, which assigns official positional designations to new transients posted there by approved, registered users. This leads to a delay in formal announcements of discoveries by amateur astronomers in many cases, as well as inconsistent designations being put into use by individual groups. Amateur astronomers are feeling frustrated about this situation, and they hope that the IAU will help to settle the situation.We have proposed the new IAU commission NC-52, which will treat these phenomena in a continuation of Commission 6, through the CBAT. We hope to continuously support the reporting of the discoveries by amateur astronomers, as well as professional astronomers, who all deserve and desire proper recognition. Our strategy will maintain the firm trust between the amateur and professional astronomers, which is necessary for true collaboration. The plan is for the CBAT to work with collaborators to assure that discoveries posted on the TOCP are promptly designated and announced by the CBAT, even when confirmations are made elsewhere

  15. On-sky calibration performance of a monolithic Michelson interferometer filtered source

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ge, Jian; Ma, Bo; Powell, Scott; Varosi, Frank; Schofield, Sidney; Grieves, Nolan; Liu, Jian

    2014-07-01

    In the new era of searching for Earth-like planets, new generation radial velocity (RV) high resolution spectrographs requires ~0.1 m/s Doppler calibration accuracy in the visible band and a similar calibration precision in the near infrared. The patented stable monolithic Michelson interferometer filtered source called the Sine source emerges as a very promising calibration device. This Sine source has the potential of covering the practical working wavelengths (~0.38- 2.5 μm) for Doppler measurements with high resolution optical and near infrared high resolution spectrographs at the ground-based telescopes. The single frame calibration precision can reach < 0.1 m/s for the state of the art spectrographs, and it can be easily designed to match the intrinsic sensitivities of future Doppler instruments. The Sine source also has the great practical advantages in compact (portable) size and low cost. Here we report early results from on-sky calibration of a Sine source measured with two state-of-the-art TOU optical high resolution spectrograph (R=100,000, 0.38-0.9 microns) and FIRST near infrared spectrograph (R=50,000, 0.8-1.8 microns) at a 2 meter robotic telescope at Fairborn Observatory in Arizona. The results with the TOU spectrograph monitoring over seven days show that the Sine source has produced ~3 times better calibration precision than the ThAr calibration (RMS = 2.7m/s vs. 7.4m/s) at 0.49-0.62 microns where calibration data have been processed by our preliminary data pipeline and ~1.4 times better than the iodine absorption spectra (RMS=3.6 m/s) at the same wavelength region. As both ThAr and Iodine have reached sub m/s calibration accuracy with existing Doppler instruments (such as HARPS and HIRES), it is likely that the sine source would provide similar improvement once a better data pipeline and an upgraded version of a Sine source are developed. It is totally possible to reach ~0.1 m/s in the optical wavelength region. In addition, this Sine source

  16. A Future Astronomical Software Environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grosböl, P.; Tody, D.; Paioro, L.; Granet, Y.; Garilli, B.; Surace, C.; Opticon Fase Network

    2012-09-01

    Analyzing data sets in astronomy has become more and more complex and has driven the development of specific tools, functions and tasks. In order to integrate these tools in a global environment and thereby preserving them, the OPTICON Network 9.2 in coordination with US-VAO has outlined requirements, defined an architectural concept and developed a prototype of a Future Astronomical Software Environment (FASE). Important features are support for user scripting (e.g. Python), access to legacy applications (e.g. IRAF, MIDAS), integration with the Virtual Observatory (VO) for access to remote data and computation, and scalability supporting desktops to distributed cluster systems. A first prototype has been implemented and demonstrates the feasibility by offering access to numerous applications (e.g. ds9, ESO CPL pipelines, MIDAS, topcat) from a Python or Unix shell using VO-SAMP as a software bus. A simple packaging system is also provided to allow easy definition and sharing of applications at a Web portal.

  17. Real Explorations in Astronomical Learning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilhelm, Jennifer; Wilhelm, R.

    2007-12-01

    Real Explorations in Astronomical Learning (REAL) is an innovative and new approach to student learning that thoughtfully integrates the excitement of space science discovery with science and mathematics. Students explore NASA images of planetary surfaces using the contexts of crater density, cratering rates, and surface age while developing critical thinking skills in science and mathematics that can be applied to any number of real life situations. Project REAL participants develop, implement, and evaluate an integrated astronomy curriculum designed for middle level students that focuses on the tools necessary for astronomy research concerning the origins and evolution of surface features on planetary bodies within our Solar System. Through the REAL curriculum, students experience the excitement of exploration by becoming authentic space science researchers. Students are provided with opportunities to: • Engage in hands-on space science research • Both quantitatively and qualitatively understand the phases of the Moon, and the origins and evolution of specific features on the surfaces of planetary bodies within our Solar System • Communicate their own scientific thinking and to understand others’ scientific thinking We present year one's findings concerning the state and effectiveness of this REAL curriculum funded by a NASA-IDEAS grant.

  18. Ultraviolet observations of astronomical sources

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Eaton, Joel A.

    1994-01-01

    The final report on 'Ultraviolet Observations of Astronomical Sources,' which ran for a total of three years, roughly between 1 July 1988 and 14 Feb. 1993 is presented. During the first year, I worked at Indiana University; since October, 1989, I have been at Tennessee State University. This grant has supported my studies of archival International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) observations of zeta Aur binaries, cool stars that are paired with hot stars in binary systems. Such systems are important as a source of detailed knowledge about the structures of chromospheres and winds in cool giant and supergiant stars, since the hot star serves as a probe of many lines of sight through the cool supergiant star's outer atmosphere. By determining the physical conditions along many such lines of sight, a detailed two-dimensional map of the chromosphere and wind may be constructed. The grant grew out of my analysis of archival IUE observations of 31 Cyg in which I analyzed five epochs of an atmospheric eclipse that occurred in 1982. I fit the attenuation spectra of atmospheric eclipse throughout the ultraviolet (lambda(lambda)1175-1950 and lambda(lambda)2500-3100) with theoretically calculated spectra, thereby determining the physical properties of gas (mass column density of absorbers, temperature, and velocity spread) along each observed line of sight. A similar analysis for other such zeta Aur binaries was accomplished and theoretical models for the chromospheres of these stars based on my observations were constructed.

  19. Astronomical Knowledge in Holy Books

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farmanyan, Sona V.; Mickaelian, Areg M.

    2015-08-01

    We investigate religious myths related to astronomy from different cultures in an attempt to identify common subjects and characteristics. The paper focuses on astronomy in religion. The initial review covers records from Holy books about sky related superstitious beliefs and cosmological understanding. The purpose of this study is to introduce sky related religious and national traditions (particularly based on different calendars; Solar or Lunar). We carried out a comparative study of astronomical issues contained in a number of Holy books: Ancient Egyptian Religion (Pyramid Texts), Zoroastrianism (Avesta), Hinduism (Vedas), Buddhism (Tipitaka), Confucianism (Five Classics), Sikhism (Guru Granth Sahib), Christianity (Bible), Islam (Quran), Druidism (Mabinogion) and Maya Religion (Popol Vuh). These books include various information on the creation of the Universe, Sun and Moon, the age of the Universe, Cosmic sizes, understanding about the planets, stars, Milky Way and description of the Heavens in different religions. We come to the conclusion that the perception of celestial objects varies from culture to culture, and from religion to religion and preastronomical views had a significant impact on humankind, particularly on religious diversities. We prove that Astronomy is the basis of cultures, and that national identity and mythology and religion were formed due to the special understanding of celestial objects.

  20. Splatalogue: Database for Astronomical Spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Remijan, Anthony J.; Markwick-Kemper, A.; ALMA Working Group on Spectral Line Frequencies

    2007-12-01

    The next generation of powerful radio and millimeter/submillimeter observatories (e.g. EVLA, ALMA, & Herschel) require extensive resources to help identify spectral line transitions. We describe the compilation of the most complete spectral line database currently assembled for this purpose. The Splatalogue is a comprehensive transition-resolved compilation of observed, measured and calculated spectral lines. In addition to the JPL and CDMS spectral line lists, 229,221 new/updated lines from the Spectral Line Atlas of Interstellar Molecules (SLAIM) were included. Of that, 12,332 lines (or an addition of 2000 lines) were added to the Lovas/NIST Recommended Rest Frequencies of known astronomical transitions. To these added lines, we have run diagnostics on the 4 lists for overlaps on transitions, frequencies, formulae and chemical names and have come up with a common way to display and designate each individual species. Splatalogue also contains atomic and recombination lines, template spectra, and is completely VO-compliant, queryable under the IVOA SLAP standard. The details of the database and how it will be used for the ALMA archive, observing tool and data reduction packages will be discussed.

  1. VEGAS: VErsatile GBT Astronomical Spectrometer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bussa, Srikanth; VEGAS Development Team

    2012-01-01

    The National Science Foundation Advanced Technologies and Instrumentation (NSF-ATI) program is funding a new spectrometer backend for the Green Bank Telescope (GBT). This spectrometer is being built by the CICADA collaboration - collaboration between the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) and the Center for Astronomy Signal Processing and Electronics Research (CASPER) at the University of California Berkeley.The backend is named as VErsatile GBT Astronomical Spectrometer (VEGAS) and will replace the capabilities of the existing spectrometers. This backend supports data processing from focal plane array systems. The spectrometer will be capable of processing up to 1.25 GHz bandwidth from 8 dual polarized beams or a bandwidth up to 10 GHz from a dual polarized beam.The spectrometer will be using 8-bit analog to digital converters (ADC), which gives a better dynamic range than existing GBT spectrometers. There will be 8 tunable digital sub-bands within the 1.25 GHz bandwidth, which will enhance the capability of simultaneous observation of multiple spectral transitions. The maximum spectral dump rate to disk will be about 0.5 msec. The vastly enhanced backend capabilities will support several science projects with the GBT. The projects include mapping temperature and density structure of molecular clouds; searches for organic molecules in the interstellar medium; determination of the fundamental constants of our evolving Universe; red-shifted spectral features from galaxies across cosmic time and survey for pulsars in the extreme gravitational environment of the Galactic Center.

  2. Astronomical surveys and big data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mickaelian, Areg M.

    Recent all-sky and large-area astronomical surveys and their catalogued data over the whole range of electromagnetic spectrum, from γ -rays to radio waves, are reviewed, including such as Fermi-GLAST and INTEGRAL in γ -ray, ROSAT, XMM and Chandra in X-ray, GALEX in UV, SDSS and several POSS I and POSS II-based catalogues (APM, MAPS, USNO, GSC) in the optical range, 2MASS in NIR, WISE and AKARI IRC in MIR, IRAS and AKARI FIS in FIR, NVSS and FIRST in radio range, and many others, as well as the most important surveys giving optical images (DSS I and II, SDSS, etc.), proper motions (Tycho, USNO, Gaia), variability (GCVS, NSVS, ASAS, Catalina, Pan-STARRS), and spectroscopic data (FBS, SBS, Case, HQS, HES, SDSS, CALIFA, GAMA). An overall understanding of the coverage along the whole wavelength range and comparisons between various surveys are given: galaxy redshift surveys, QSO/AGN, radio, Galactic structure, and Dark Energy surveys. Astronomy has entered the Big Data era, with Astrophysical Virtual Observatories and Computational Astrophysics playing an important role in using and analyzing big data for new discoveries.

  3. Generating Mosaics of Astronomical Images

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bergou, Attila; Berriman, Bruce; Good, John; Jacob, Joseph; Katz, Daniel; Laity, Anastasia; Prince, Thomas; Williams, Roy

    2005-01-01

    "Montage" is the name of a service of the National Virtual Observatory (NVO), and of software being developed to implement the service via the World Wide Web. Montage generates science-grade custom mosaics of astronomical images on demand from input files that comply with the Flexible Image Transport System (FITS) standard and contain image data registered on projections that comply with the World Coordinate System (WCS) standards. "Science-grade" in this context signifies that terrestrial and instrumental features are removed from images in a way that can be described quantitatively. "Custom" refers to user-specified parameters of projection, coordinates, size, rotation, and spatial sampling. The greatest value of Montage is expected to lie in its ability to analyze images at multiple wavelengths, delivering them on a common projection, coordinate system, and spatial sampling, and thereby enabling further analysis as though they were part of a single, multi-wavelength image. Montage will be deployed as a computation-intensive service through existing astronomy portals and other Web sites. It will be integrated into the emerging NVO architecture and will be executed on the TeraGrid. The Montage software will also be portable and publicly available.

  4. Franklin Edward Kameny (1925-2011, Astronomer)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wright, Jason

    2012-01-01

    Dr. Frank Kameny is best known today as one of the most important members of the gay rights movement in the United States, but he was also a PhD astronomer. In fact, it was his firing from his civil service position as astronomer for the US Army Map Service on the grounds of homosexuality that sparked his lifelong career of activism. Here, I explore some aspects of his short but interesting astronomical career and the role of the AAS in his life.

  5. America's foremost early astronomer. [David Rittenhouse

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rubincam, David Parry; Rubincam, Milton, II

    1995-01-01

    The life of 18th century astronomer, craftsman, and partriot David Rittenhouse is detailed. As a craftsman, he distinguished himself as one of the foremost builders of clocks. He also built magnetic compasses and surveying instruments. The finest examples of his craftsmanship are considered two orreries, mechanical solar systems. In terms of astronomical observations, his best-known contribution was his observation of the transit of Venus in 1769. Rittenhouse constructed the first diffraction grating. Working as Treasurer of Pennsylvania throughout the Revolution, he became the first director of the Mint in 1792. Astronomical observations in later life included charting the position of Uranus after its discovery.

  6. Commissioning MOS and Fabry-Perot modes for the Robert Stobie Spectrograph on the Southern African Large Telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koeslag, A. R.; Williams, T. B.; Nordsieck, K. H.; Romero-Colmenero, E.; Vaisanen, P. H.; Maartens, D. S.

    2014-07-01

    The Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) currently has three instruments: the imaging SALTICAM, the new High Resolution Spectrograph (HRS) which is in the process of being commissioned and the Robert Stobie Spectrograph (RSS). RSS has multiple science modes, of which long slit spectroscopy was originally commissioned; We have commissioned two new science modes: Multi Object Spectroscopy (MOS) and Fabry-Perot (FP). Due to the short track times available on SALT it is vital that acquisition is as efficient as possible. This paper will discuss how we implemented these modes in software and some of the challenges we had to overcome. MOS requires a slit-mask to be aligned with a number of stars. This is done in two phases: in MOS calibration the positions of the slits are detected using a through-slit image and RA/DEC database information, and in MOS acquisition the detector sends commands to the telescope control system (TCS) in an iterative and interactive fashion for fine mask/detector alignment to get the desired targets on the slits. There were several challenges involved with this system, and the user interface evolved to make the process as efficient as possible. We also had to overcome problems with the manufacturing process of the slit-masks. FP requires the precise alignment each of the two etalons installed on RSS. The software makes use of calibration tables to get the etalons into roughly aligned starting positions. An exposure is then done using a calibration arc lamp, producing a ring pattern. Measurement of the rings allows the determination of the adjustments needed to properly align the etalons. The software has been developed to optimize this process, along with software tools that allow us to fine tune the calibration tables. The software architecture allows the complexity of automating the FP calibration and procedures to be easily managed.

  7. Hubble Space Telescope: Goddard high resolution spectrograph instrument handbook. Version 2.1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Duncan, Douglas K.; Ebbets, Dennis

    1990-01-01

    The Goddard High Resolution Spectrograph (GHRS) is an ultraviolet spectrometer which has been designed to exploit the imaging and pointing capabilities of the Hubble Space Telescope. It will obtain observations of astronomical sources with greater spectral, spatial and temporal resolution than has been possible with previous space-based instruments. Data from the GHRS will be applicable to many types of scientific investigations, including studies of the interstellar medium, stellar winds, chromospheres and coronae, the byproducts and endproducts of stellar evolution, planetary atmospheres, comets, and many kinds of extragalactic sources. This handbook is intended to introduce the GHRS to potential users. The main purpose is to provide enough information to explore the feasibility of possible research projects and to plan, propose and execute a set of observations. An overview of the instrument performance, which should allow one to evaluate the suitability of the GHRS to specific projects, and a somewhat more detailed description of the GHRS hardware are given. How observing programs will be carried out, the various operating modes of the instrument, and the specific information about the performance of the instrument needed to plan an observation are discussed.

  8. Versatile nebular insect-eye fabry-perot spectrograph.

    PubMed

    Meaburn, J

    1975-02-01

    The design and performance of an insect-eye F.P. spectrograph used on the 249-cm Isaac Newton telescope, which can also be converted into a nebular filter camera, is presented. This device has several novel features, including a pressure-controlled optically contacted etalon and an image tube as a detector.

  9. Galactic Archaeology with the Subaru Prime Focus Spectrograph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chiba, Masashi; Cohen, Judith; Wyse, Rosemary F. G.

    2016-08-01

    We present an overview of our Galactic Archaeology (GA) survey program with the Prime Focus Spectrograph (PFS) for Subaru. Following successful design reviews, the instrument is now under construction with first light anticipated in 2018. Main characteristics of PFS and the science goals in our PFS/GA program are described.

  10. AVES: an adaptive optics visual echelle spectrograph for the VLT

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pasquini, Luca; Delabre, Bernard; Avila, Gerardo; Bonaccini, Domenico

    1998-07-01

    We present the preliminary study of a low cost, high performance spectrograph for the VLT, for observations in the V, R and I bands. This spectrograph is meant for intermediate (R equals 16,000) resolution spectroscopy of faint (sky and/or detector limited) sources, with particular emphasis on the study of solar-type (F-G) stars belonging to the nearest galaxies and to distant (or highly reddened) galactic clusters. The spectrograph is designed to use the adaptive optics (AO) systems at the VLT Telescope. Even if these AO systems will not provide diffraction limited images in the V, R and I bands, the photon concentration will still be above approximately 60% of the flux in an 0.3 arcsecond aperture for typical Paranal conditions. This makes the construction of a compact, cheap and efficient echelle spectrograph possible. AVES will outperform comparable non adaptive optic instruments by more than one magnitude for sky- and/or detector-limited observations, and it will be very suitable for observations in crowded fields.

  11. X-shooter near-IR spectrograph arm realisation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Navarro, Ramon; Elswijk, Eddy; Tromp, Niels; ter Horst, Rik; Horrobin, Matthew; Vernet, Joel; Finger, Gert; Groot, Paul; Kaper, Lex

    2008-07-01

    X-shooter is a new high-efficiency spectrograph observing the complete spectral range of 300-2500 nm in a single exposure, with a spectral resolving power R>5000. The instrument will be located at the Cassegrain focus of one of the VLT UTs and consists of three spectrographs: UV, VIS and Near-IR. This paper addresses the design, hardware realization and performance of the Near-IR spectrograph of the X-Shooter instrument and its components. Various optical, mechanical and cryogenic manufacturing and verification techniques are discussed. The cryogenic performance of replicated light weight gratings is presented. Bare aluminium mirrors are produced and polished to optical quality to preserve high shape accuracy at cryogenic conditions. Their manufacturing techniques and performance are both discussed. The cryogenic collimator and dispersion boxes, on which the optical components are mounted, feature integrated baffles for improved stiffness and integrated leaf springs to reduce tension on optical components, thereby challenging 5 axis simultaneous CNC milling capabilities. ASTRON Extreme Light Weighting is used for a key component to reduce the flexure of the cryogenic system; some key numbers and unique manufacturing experience for this component are presented. The method of integrated system design at cryogenic working temperatures and the resulting alignment-free integration are evaluated. Finally some key lab test results for the complete NIR spectrograph are presented.

  12. Astronomical data bases and retrieval systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mead, J. M.; Nagy, T. A.; Warren, W. H., Jr.

    1981-01-01

    The status of the development of machine-readable stellar and extragalactic data bases is summarized, including several examples of astronomical applications using these data sets. The creation of a computerized bibliographical data base for cometary research is described.

  13. Accelerating the Rate of Astronomical Discovery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    This meeting marks the the International Year of Astronomy by reviewing the extent to which astronomers are achieving the optimal rate of astronomical discovery. Can we identify and overcome the limits to progress? What steps can be taken to accelerate the rate of expansion of astronomical knowledge? What lessons can be learnt both from the recent and distant past? As the public announcements regarding the 2009 IYA have emphasized, new astronomical discoveries are currently being made at an extraordinary rate, while the invention of the telescope ushered in an equally momentous "golden age of discovery" 400 years ago. The meeting addresses a range of potential limits to progress-paradigmatic, technological, organizational, and political-examining each issue both from modern and historical perspectives, and drawing lessons to guide future progress. The program focusses on how astronomy actually progresses, using careful historical studies and real data, rather than anecdotes and folklore.

  14. Astronomers Unveiling Life's Cosmic Origins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2009-02-01

    Processes that laid the foundation for life on Earth -- star and planet formation and the production of complex organic molecules in interstellar space -- are yielding their secrets to astronomers armed with powerful new research tools, and even better tools soon will be available. Astronomers described three important developments at a symposium on the "Cosmic Cradle of Life" at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Chicago, IL. Chemistry Cycle The Cosmic Chemistry Cycle CREDIT: Bill Saxton, NRAO/AUI/NSF Full Size Image Files Chemical Cycle Graphic (above image, JPEG, 129K) Graphic With Text Blocks (JPEG, 165K) High-Res TIFF (44.2M) High-Res TIFF With Text Blocks (44.2M) In one development, a team of astrochemists released a major new resource for seeking complex interstellar molecules that are the precursors to life. The chemical data released by Anthony Remijan of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) and his university colleagues is part of the Prebiotic Interstellar Molecule Survey, or PRIMOS, a project studying a star-forming region near the center of our Milky Way Galaxy. PRIMOS is an effort of the National Science Foundation's Center for Chemistry of the Universe, started at the University of Virginia (UVa) in October 2008, and led by UVa Professor Brooks H. Pate. The data, produced by the NSF's Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT) in West Virginia, came from more than 45 individual observations totalling more than nine GigaBytes of data and over 1.4 million individual frequency channels. Scientists can search the GBT data for specific radio frequencies, called spectral lines -- telltale "fingerprints" -- naturally emitted by molecules in interstellar space. "We've identified more than 720 spectral lines in this collection, and about 240 of those are from unknown molecules," Remijan said. He added, "We're making available to all scientists the best collection of data below 50 GHz ever produced for

  15. Astronomers and the Media: What Reporters Expect

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siedgfried, Tom; Witze, Alexandra

    2006-01-01

    Journalists writing about astronomy bring varying levels of knowledge to the task. Most rely on astronomers for help. To be most helpful, astronomers should familiarize themselves with the practices and needs of journalists and learn effective methods for presenting astronomy via news releases, interviews and news conferences. In all aspects of communicating with the media, the ability to express technical findings in plain language is essential.

  16. Infrared array detectors. [for astronomical observation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Arens, J. F.

    1982-01-01

    Arrays of detectors sensitive to infrared radiation will enable astronomical observations to be made with shorter observing times than with discrete detectors and with good relative spatial accuracy. Systems using such arrays are being developed for astronomy in several regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. An example of an infrared system is given here consisting of a 32x32 element bismuth doped silicon charge injection device array that has been used in an astronomical camera.

  17. Image Calibration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Peay, Christopher S.; Palacios, David M.

    2011-01-01

    Calibrate_Image calibrates images obtained from focal plane arrays so that the output image more accurately represents the observed scene. The function takes as input a degraded image along with a flat field image and a dark frame image produced by the focal plane array and outputs a corrected image. The three most prominent sources of image degradation are corrected for: dark current accumulation, gain non-uniformity across the focal plane array, and hot and/or dead pixels in the array. In the corrected output image the dark current is subtracted, the gain variation is equalized, and values for hot and dead pixels are estimated, using bicubic interpolation techniques.

  18. Flow Calibration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1983-01-01

    Flow Technology Inc. worked with Lewis Research Center to develop a system for monitoring two different propellants being supplied to a spacecraft rocket thruster. They then commercialized the technology in the Microtrack, an extremely precise low-flow calibration system. Moog Inc., one of the device's primary users, measures the flow rate or the speed at which hydraulic oil flows through pin sized holes in disc shaped sapphires with the Microtrack. Using this data, two orifices with exactly the same flow rate can be matched as a pair and used as masters in servovalve production. The microtrack can also be used to calibrate other equipment.

  19. Calibration and characterization of spectral imaging systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Polder, Gerrit; van der Heijden, Gerie W.

    2001-09-01

    Spectral image sensors provide images with a large umber of contiguous spectral channels per pixel. This paper describes the calibration of spectrograph based spectral imaging systems. The relation between pixel position and measured wavelength was determined using three different wavelength calibration sources. Results indicate that for spectral calibration a source with very small peaks,such as a HgAr source, is preferred to arrow band filters. A second order polynomial model gives a better fit than a linear model for the pixel to wavelength mapping. The signal to noise ratio (SNR)is determined per wavelength. In the blue part of the spectrum,the SNR was lower than in the green and red part.This is due to a decreased quantum efficiency of the CCD,a smaller transmission coefficient of the spectrograph,as well as poor performance of the illuminant. Increasing the amount of blue light,using additional Fluorescent tube with special coating increased the SNR considerably. Furthermore, the spatial and spectral resolution of the system are determined.These can be used to choose appropriate binning factors to decrease the image size without losing information.

  20. Potential applications of ring resonators for astronomical instrumentation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ellis, S. C.; Crouzier, A.; Bland-Hawthorn, J.; Lawrence, J. S.; Kepple, J.

    2012-09-01

    Ring resonators are a looped waveguide coupled to an input and an output waveguide. They can be used to filter, and drop, a series of wavelengths at the resonant frequencies of the ring. Both these properties are useful for astronomical applications. The dropped signal provides a frequency comb that can be used to provide accurate wavelength calibration. The free spectral range of such a device is larger than that from a laser comb, removing the requirement to perform subsequent filtering. The filtered signal could be used to suppress specific wavelengths, e.g. corresponding to atmospheric emission lines. We present the expected performance of devices designed for both applications and discuss their advantages and limitations.

  1. Spanish participation in the development of HARMONI, the first light integral field spectrograph for the E-ELT.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    García-Lorenzo, B.; HARMONI Consortium

    2015-05-01

    HARMONI is the visible and near infrared integral field spectrograph (IFS) selected as a first-light instrument for the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT). With four spatial scales and a range of spectral resolving powers, astronomers will optimally configure the instrument to overtake a wide range of scientific programs and to address many of the E-ELT science cases. The Centro de Astrobiología del CSIC/INTA (CAB-CSIC) and the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) form part of the international consortium developing HARMONI, participation that will constitute an unique scientific opportunity for the Spanish astronomical community, allowing the access to the E-ELT as soon as it were operative via the guaranteed time. We describe here the instrument and its capabilities with special attention to the Spanish contribution to HARMONI. At the current stage of the project, HARMONI design is being revised due to significant modifications of the Nasmyth platform affecting the interface with HARMONI.

  2. The Chandra X-ray Observatory: An Astronomical Facility Available to the World

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, Randall K.

    2006-01-01

    The Chandra X-ray observatory, one of NASA's "Great Observatories," provides high angular and spectral resolution X-ray data which is freely available to all. In this review I describe the instruments on chandra along with their current calibration, as well as the chandra proposal system, the freely-available Chandra analysis software package CIAO, and the Chandra archive. As Chandra is in its 6th year of operation, the archive already contains calibrated observations of a large range of X-ray sources. The Chandra X-ray Center is committed to assisting astronomers from any country who wish to use data from the archive or propose for observations

  3. Astronomical Data Center Bulletin, volume 1, no. 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Warren, W. H., Jr. (Editor); Nagy, T. A. (Editor); Mead, J. M. (Editor)

    1980-01-01

    Information about work in progress on astronomical catalogs is presented. In addition to progress reports, an upadated status list for astronomical catalogs available at the Astronomical Data Center is included. Papers from observatories and individuals involved with astronomical data are also presented.

  4. Astronomers Find First Earth-like Planet in Habitable Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2007-04-01

    host star, Gliese 581, is among the 100 closest stars to us, located only 20.5 light-years away in the constellation Libra ("the Scales"). It has a mass of only one third the mass of the Sun. Such red dwarfs are intrinsically at least 50 times fainter than the Sun and are the most common stars in our Galaxy: among the 100 closest stars to the Sun, 80 belong to this class. "Red dwarfs are ideal targets for the search for low-mass planets where water could be liquid. Because such dwarfs emit less light, the habitable zone is much closer to them than it is around the Sun," emphasizes Xavier Bonfils, a co-worker from Lisbon University. Planets lying in this zone are then more easily detected with the radial-velocity method [3], the most successful in detecting exoplanets. ESO PR Photo 22d/07 ESO PR Photo 22d/07 Velocity Variations of Gl 581 Two years ago, the same team of astronomers already found a planet around Gliese 581 (see ESO 30/05). With a mass of 15 Earth-masses, i.e. similar to that of Neptune, it orbits its host star in 5.4 days. At the time, the astronomers had already seen hints of another planet. They therefore obtained a new set of measurements and found the new super-Earth, but also clear indications for another one, an 8 Earth-mass planet completing an orbit in 84 days. The planetary system surrounding Gliese 581 contains thus no fewer than 3 planets of 15 Earth masses or less, and as such is a quite remarkable system. The discovery was made thanks to HARPS (High Accuracy Radial Velocity for Planetary Searcher), perhaps the most precise spectrograph in the world. Located on the ESO 3.6-m telescope at La Silla, Chile, HARPS is able to measure velocities with a precision better than one metre per second (or 3.6 km/h)! HARPS is one of the most successful instruments for detecting exoplanets and holds already several recent records, including the discovery of another 'Trio of Neptunes' (ESO 18/06, see also ESO 22/04). ESO PR Video 22/07 ESO PR Video 22

  5. Karl Friedrich Zollner and the historical dimension of astronomical photometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sterken, C.; Staubermann, K. B.

    This book results from presentations and discussions of a group of astronomers and historians during a one-day workshop held at Archenhold Observatory, Berlin-Treptow, on April 4, 1997. This meeting was the first forum in a series dedicated to historical aspects of observational astrophysics in the nineteenth and early twentieth century. The basic principle of these meetings is to reflect during one or more days on the work and personality of a single individual or of a group of persons, at the same time avoiding the really dominant figures that typify the age. By focusing on key people who epitomize a way of thinking and working that has formed many of the ideas by which we do astrophysical research today, we also attempt to evoke the scientific spirit of the era under consideration. In 1858, the German physicist Karl Friedrich Zoellner introduced a new type of astronomical photometer which became a bestseller in the second half of the nineteenth century and which led him to the first German professorship in astrophysics. His type of photometer allowed most accurate photometric measurements and was used at several observatories for almost half a century. This book outlines four major themes. The first part describes the observing instruments that were used by Zoellner and his contemporaries: photometers and spectrographs that complemented his original design, but also competed with his most versatile prototype photometer. The description also includes an account of technical aspects associated with the replication of such a photometer today. The second part analyses the astrophysical data that were obtained with Zoellner's tools, and extracts information hidden in the published data --- scientific information as well as diverse aspects related to the observer himself. These nineteenth-century data are now published for the first time on a modern magnitude scale and are directly accessible in tabular form, and are thus fully applicable to archeophotometric studies

  6. Astronomers debate diamonds in space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1999-04-01

    This is not the first time the intriguing carbonaceous compound has been detected in space. A peculiar elite of twelve stars are known to produce it. The star now added by ISO to this elite is one of the best representatives of this exclusive family, since it emits a very strong signal of the compound. Additionally ISO found a second new member of the group with weaker emission, and also observed with a spectral resolution never achieved before other already known stars in this class. Astronomers think these ISO results will help solve the mystery of the true nature of the compound. Their publication by two different groups, from Spain and Canada, has triggered a debate on the topic, both in astronomy institutes and in chemistry laboratories. At present, mixed teams of astrophysicists and chemists are investigating in the lab compounds whose chemical signature or "fingerprint" matches that detected by ISO. Neither diamonds nor fullerenes have ever been detected in space, but their presence has been predicted. Tiny diamonds of pre-solar origin --older than the Solar System-- have been found in meteorites, which supports the as yet unconfirmed theory of their presence in interstellar space. The fullerene molecule, made of 60 carbon atoms linked to form a sphere (hence the name "buckyball"), has also been extensively searched for in space but never found. If the carbonaceous compound detected by ISO is a fullerene or a diamond, there will be new data on the production of these industrially interesting materials. Fullerenes are being investigated as "capsules" to deliver new pharmaceuticals to the body. Diamonds are commonly used in the electronics industry and for the development of new materials; if they are formed in the dust surrounding some stars, at relatively low temperatures and conditions of low pressure, companies could learn more about the ideal physical conditions to produce them. A textbook case The latest star in which the compound has been found is

  7. Scalable Machine Learning for Massive Astronomical Datasets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ball, Nicholas M.; Astronomy Data Centre, Canadian

    2014-01-01

    We present the ability to perform data mining and machine learning operations on a catalog of half a billion astronomical objects. This is the result of the combination of robust, highly accurate machine learning algorithms with linear scalability that renders the applications of these algorithms to massive astronomical data tractable. We demonstrate the core algorithms kernel density estimation, K-means clustering, linear regression, nearest neighbors, random forest and gradient-boosted decision tree, singular value decomposition, support vector machine, and two-point correlation function. Each of these is relevant for astronomical applications such as finding novel astrophysical objects, characterizing artifacts in data, object classification (including for rare objects), object distances, finding the important features describing objects, density estimation of distributions, probabilistic quantities, and exploring the unknown structure of new data. The software, Skytree Server, runs on any UNIX-based machine, a virtual machine, or cloud-based and distributed systems including Hadoop. We have integrated it on the cloud computing system of the Canadian Astronomical Data Centre, the Canadian Advanced Network for Astronomical Research (CANFAR), creating the world's first cloud computing data mining system for astronomy. We demonstrate results showing the scaling of each of our major algorithms on large astronomical datasets, including the full 470,992,970 objects of the 2 Micron All-Sky Survey (2MASS) Point Source Catalog. We demonstrate the ability to find outliers in the full 2MASS dataset utilizing multiple methods, e.g., nearest neighbors, and the local outlier factor. 2MASS is used as a proof-of-concept dataset due to its convenience and availability. These results are of interest to any astronomical project with large and/or complex datasets that wishes to extract the full scientific value from its data.

  8. Scalable Machine Learning for Massive Astronomical Datasets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ball, Nicholas M.; Gray, A.

    2014-04-01

    We present the ability to perform data mining and machine learning operations on a catalog of half a billion astronomical objects. This is the result of the combination of robust, highly accurate machine learning algorithms with linear scalability that renders the applications of these algorithms to massive astronomical data tractable. We demonstrate the core algorithms kernel density estimation, K-means clustering, linear regression, nearest neighbors, random forest and gradient-boosted decision tree, singular value decomposition, support vector machine, and two-point correlation function. Each of these is relevant for astronomical applications such as finding novel astrophysical objects, characterizing artifacts in data, object classification (including for rare objects), object distances, finding the important features describing objects, density estimation of distributions, probabilistic quantities, and exploring the unknown structure of new data. The software, Skytree Server, runs on any UNIX-based machine, a virtual machine, or cloud-based and distributed systems including Hadoop. We have integrated it on the cloud computing system of the Canadian Astronomical Data Centre, the Canadian Advanced Network for Astronomical Research (CANFAR), creating the world's first cloud computing data mining system for astronomy. We demonstrate results showing the scaling of each of our major algorithms on large astronomical datasets, including the full 470,992,970 objects of the 2 Micron All-Sky Survey (2MASS) Point Source Catalog. We demonstrate the ability to find outliers in the full 2MASS dataset utilizing multiple methods, e.g., nearest neighbors. This is likely of particular interest to the radio astronomy community given, for example, that survey projects contain groups dedicated to this topic. 2MASS is used as a proof-of-concept dataset due to its convenience and availability. These results are of interest to any astronomical project with large and/or complex

  9. More flexibility in representing geometric distortion in astronomical images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shupe, David L.; Laher, Russ R.; Storrie-Lombardi, Lisa; Surace, Jason; Grillmair, Carl; Levitan, David; Sesar, Branimir

    2012-09-01

    A number of popular software tools in the public domain are used by astronomers, professional and amateur alike, but some of the tools that have similar purposes cannot be easily interchanged, owing to the lack of a common standard. For the case of image distortion, SCAMP and SExtractor, available from Astromatic.net, perform astrometric calibration and source-object extraction on image data, and image-data geometric distortion is computed in celestial coordinates with polynomial coefficients stored in the FITS header with the PV i_j keywords. Another widely-used astrometric-calibration service, Astrometry.net, solves for distortion in pixel coordinates using the SIP convention that was introduced by the Spitzer Science Center. Up until now, due to the complexity of these distortion representations, it was very difficult to use the output of one of these packages as input to the other. New Python software, along with faster-computing C-language translations, have been developed at the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC) to convert FITS-image headers from PV to SIP and vice versa. It is now possible to straightforwardly use Astrometry.net for astrometric calibration and then SExtractor for source-object extraction. The new software also enables astrometric calibration by SCAMP followed by image visualization with tools that support SIP distortion, but not PV . The software has been incorporated into the image-processing pipelines of the Palomar Transient Factory (PTF), which generate FITS images with headers containing both distortion representations. The software permits the conversion of archived images, such as from the Spitzer Heritage Archive and NASA/IPAC Infrared Science Archive, from SIP to PV or vice versa. This new capability renders unnecessary any new representation, such as the proposed TPV distortion convention.

  10. Visible Imaging Fourier Transform Spectrometer: Design and Calibration

    SciTech Connect

    Wishnow, E H; Wurtz, R; Blais-Ouellette, S; Cook, K H; Carr, D; Lewis, I; Grandmont, F; Stubbs, C W

    2002-09-19

    We present details of the design, operation and calibration of an astronomical visible-band imaging Fourier transform spectrometer (IFTS). This type of instrument produces a spectrum for every pixel in the field of view where the spectral resolution is flexible. The instrument is a dual-input/dual-output Michelson interferometer coupled to the 3.5 meter telescope at the Apache Point Observatory. Imaging performance and interferograms and spectra from calibration sources and standard stars are discussed.

  11. Smart focal plane masks: rewritable photochromic films for astronomical multi-object spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bianco, A.; Bertarelli, C.; Gallazzi, M. C.; Zerbi, G.; Giro, E.; Molinari, E.

    2005-06-01

    Modern astronomical spectroscopy makes use of multi-aperture slits placed in the focal plane of telescopes before light enters the spectrograph. Multiple object spectroscopy (MOS) allows several spectra to be obtained simultaneously with a multiplexing gain from the order of dozens of objects in 4m class telescopes to few hundreds in larger 8m telescopes. Many of these devices make use of metal plates which are punched, milled or laser cut and can be used only for observation of a given astronomical target. A typical observing night requires from 4 to 20 MOS masks, which have to be prepared during an off-line procedure, usually days before. Here we report an innovative technique to carry out multi object spectroscopy based on changes of properties of photochromic materials. Photochromic MOS masks consist of polymer thin films which can be made opaque or transparent in a restricted wavelength range using alternatively UV and visible light. Slit patterns can thus be easily written by means of a red diode laser on a UV preflashed plate. Writing time for a 10x10 arcmin plate is a few minutes and the whole procedure can be performed promptly after the acquisition of the field image and without mechanical debris as in milling or laser cutting. A computer controlled writing device suited for the AFOSC camera of the Asiago 1.8m telescope was built. The same focal plane mask can be UV erased and used more than 450 times. High contrasts have been reached by means of an appropriate passband filter in the light beam of the spectrograph. Our first successful observation run took place in January 2003. Spectra of selected stars in the crowded M67 cluster field and emission lines from the gaseous planetary nebula M97 were obtained.

  12. Large astronomical catalog management for telescope operations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baruffolo, Andrea; Benacchio, Leopoldo

    1998-07-01

    Large astronomical catalogues containing from a million up to hundreds of millions records are currently available, even larger catalogues will be released in the near future. They will have an important operational role since they will be used throughout the observing cycle of next generation large telescopes, for proposal and observation preparation, telescope scheduling, selection of guide stars, etc. These large databases pose new problems for fast and general access. Solutions based on custom software or on customized versions of specific catalogues have been proposed, but the problem will benefit from a more general database approach. While traditional database technologies have proven to be inadequate for this task, new technologies are emerging, in particular that of Object Relational DBMSs, that seem to be suitable to solve the problem. In this paper we describe our experiences in experimenting with ORDBMSs for the management of large astronomical catalogues. We worked especially on the database query language and access methods. In the first field to extend the database query language capabilities with astronomical functionalities and to support typical astronomical queries.In the second, to speed up the execution of queries containing astronomical predicates.

  13. Next VLT Instrument Ready for the Astronomers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2000-02-01

    FORS2 Commissioning Period Successfully Terminated The commissioning of the FORS2 multi-mode astronomical instrument at KUEYEN , the second FOcal Reducer/low dispersion Spectrograph at the ESO Very Large Telescope, was successfully finished today. This important work - that may be likened with the test driving of a new car model - took place during two periods, from October 22 to November 21, 1999, and January 22 to February 8, 2000. The overall goal was to thoroughly test the functioning of the new instrument, its conformity to specifications and to optimize its operation at the telescope. FORS2 is now ready to be handed over to the astronomers on April 1, 2000. Observing time for a six-month period until October 1 has already been allocated to a large number of research programmes. Two of the images that were obtained with FORS2 during the commissioning period are shown here. An early report about this instrument is available as ESO PR 17/99. The many modes of FORS2 The FORS Commissioning Team carried out a comprehensive test programme for all observing modes. These tests were done with "observation blocks (OBs)" that describe the set-up of the instrument and telescope for each exposure in all details, e.g., position in the sky of the object to be observed, filters, exposure time, etc.. Whenever an OB is "activated" from the control console, the corresponding observation is automatically performed. Additional information about the VLT Data Flow System is available in ESO PR 10/99. The FORS2 observing modes include direct imaging, long-slit and multi-object spectroscopy, exactly as in its twin, FORS1 at ANTU . In addition, FORS2 contains the "Mask Exchange Unit" , a motorized magazine that holds 10 masks made of thin metal plates into which the slits are cut by means of a laser. The advantage of this particular observing method is that more spectra (of more objects) can be taken with a single exposure (up to approximately 80) and that the shape of the slits can be

  14. Design inputs for a high-performance high-resolution near-infrared spectrograph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hinkle, Kenneth H.; Joyce, Richard R.; Najita, Joan R.

    2010-07-01

    The combination of immersion grating and infrared array detector technologies allows the construction of highresolution spectrographs in the near-infrared that have capabilities similar to those of optical spectrographs. It is possible, for instance, to design multi-object spectrographs with very large wavelength coverage and high throughput. We explored the science and functional drivers for these spectrograph designs. Several key inputs into the design are reviewed including risk, mechanical-optical trades, and operations. We discuss a design for a fixed configuration spectrograph with either 1.1 - 2.5 or 3 - 5 μm simultaneous wavelength coverage.

  15. WUVS spectrographs of World Space Observatory - Ultraviolet project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Savanov, Igor; Sachkov, Mikhail; Shustov, Boris M.; Shugarov, Andrey

    2016-07-01

    WSO-UV (World Space Observatory - Ultraviolet) project is an international space observatory designed for observations in the UV (115 - 320 nm). It includes a 170 cm aperture telescope capable of high-resolution spectroscopy, long slit low-resolution spectroscopy and deep UV and optical imaging. WUVS - the set of three ultraviolet spectrographs are regarded as the main instrument of «Spektr -UF» space mission. The spectrographs unit includes three channels and is intended for acquisition of spectrums of high (R=50000) and low (R=1000) resolution of the observed objects in the electromagnetic radiation's ultraviolet range (115-310 nm). We present the design philosophy of WUVS and summarize its key characteristics. We shall present the main properties of WUVS new structure and current status of its mockups and prototypes manufacturing.

  16. The Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph (IUVS) for the MAVEN Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McClintock, William E.; Schneider, Nicholas M.; Holsclaw, Gregory M.; Clarke, John T.; Hoskins, Alan C.; Stewart, Ian; Montmessin, Franck; Yelle, Roger V.; Deighan, Justin

    2015-12-01

    The Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph (IUVS) is one of nine science instruments aboard the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile and EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft. MAVEN, launched in November 18, 2013 and arriving at Mars in September 2014, is designed to explore the planet's upper atmosphere and ionosphere and examine their interaction with the solar wind and solar ultraviolet radiation. IUVS is one of the most powerful spectrographs sent to another planet, with several key capabilities: (1) separate Far-UV & Mid-UV channels for stray light control, (2) a high resolution echelle mode to resolve deuterium and hydrogen emission, (3) internal instrument pointing and scanning capabilities to allow complete mapping and nearly-continuous operation, and (4) optimization for airglow studies.

  17. Performance and sensitivity of low-resolution spectrographs for LAMOST

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hou, Yonghui; Zhu, Yongtian; Hu, Zhongwen; Wang, Lei; Wang, Jianing

    2010-07-01

    The 16 low resolution spectrographs (LRS) have been successfully commissioned for the LAMOST. The LRS design employs a dual-beamed and bench-mounted, with large-beamed, fast Schmidt cameras and Volume Phase Holographic (VPH) transmission gratings. The design wavelength range is 370-900nm, at resolutions of R=1000and R=10000. Each spectrograph is fed by 250 fibers with 320 micron in diameter (corresponding 3.3 arcsec), composed of one F/4 Schmidt collimator, a dichroic beam-splitter, four VPH gratings, articulating Schmidt cameras that are optimized at blue band (370-590 nm) and red band (570-900 nm), and field lens near the focal plane service as the vacuum window of CCD detector cryogenic head. In this paper, we present the testing result of the LRS on the image quality, spectra resolution, efficiency and observing spectra.

  18. Optical design of the ESPRESSO spectrograph at VLT

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spanò, P.; Mégevand, D.; Herreros, J. M.; Zerbi, F. M.; Cabral, A.; Di Marcantonio, P.; Lovis, C.; Cristiani, S.; Rebolo, R.; Santos, N.; Pepe, F.

    2010-07-01

    ESPRESSO, a very high-resolution, high-efficiency, ultra-high stability, fiber-fed, cross-dispersed echelle spectrograph located in the Combined-Coudé focus of the VLT, has been designed to detect exo-planets with unprecedented radial velocity accuracies of 10 cm/sec over 20 years period. To increase spectral resolution, an innovative pupil slicing technique has been adopted, based onto free-form optics. Anamorphism has been added to increase resolution while keeping the physical size of the echelle grating within reasonable limits. Anamorphic VPH grisms will help to decrease detector size, while maximizing efficiency and inter-order separation. Here we present a summary of the optical design of the spectrograph and of expected performances.

  19. Optical design, performance, and tolerancing of an Offner imaging spectrograph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ku, Hana; Kim, Seo Hyun; Kong, Hong Jin; Lee, Jun Ho

    2012-10-01

    We introduce a design of an Offner imaging spectrograph with its performance and tolerancing results. It is a traditional Offner spectrograph employing two concave mirrors and one convex reflective grating for dispersing light in the SWIR band (900~1700 nm). The optical system uses 25um-pitch pixels for the detector and the goal spectral sampling is 3.2nm. Its performance is analyzed in terms of MTFs, spot diagrams, and distortions - keystone and smile. This design focuses on the yaw(beta-tilt) sensitivity of the tertiary mirror as the compensator hence is expected to act as a performance-improving breakthrough for the entire system as the inverse sensitivity confirms it is the most sensitive component. The procedure of the inverse sensitivity evaluation is explained, and then budgeting the tolerances for each element for the practical production is described.

  20. BASIS: Bayfordbury single-object integral field spectrograph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richards, Samuel; Martin, William; Campbell, David; Jones, Hugh; Bland-Hawthorn, Joss; Lawrence, Jon; Brinks, Elias; Bryant, Julia J.; Fogarty, Lisa; Gallaway, Mark; Goodwin, Michael; Leon-Saval, Sergio; Sarzi, Marc; Smith, Daniel J.

    2012-09-01

    We present an inexpensive (spectrograph (SBIG Self-Guiding Spectrograph) and a 37 optical fibre bundle integral field unit with each fibre having 50μm cores and a pitch of 125μm. It has an overall field-of-view of 40 arc seconds (2.6arcsec/core), a resolution of 9Å from 3995Å to 7170Å and an average system efficiency of 9%, yielding a signal-tonoise ratio of 10 for a 20min exposure of a 13mag/arcsec2 source. Still in commissioning, we present first light observations of Vega and M57.

  1. The infrared spectrograph during the SIRTF pre-definition phase

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Houck, James R.

    1988-01-01

    A test facility was set up to evaluate back-illuminated impurity band detectors constructed for an infrared spectrograph to be used on the Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF). Equipment built to perform the tests on these arrays is described. Initial tests have been geared toward determining dark current and read noise for the array. Four prior progress reports are incorporated into this report. They describe the first efforts in the detector development and testing effort; testing details and a new spectrograph concept; a discussion of resolution issues raised by the new design; management activities; a review of computer software and testing facility hardware; and a review of the preamplifier constructed as well as a revised schematic of the detector evaluation facility.

  2. KiwiSpec: The Design and Performance of a High Resolution Echelle Spectrograph for Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gibson, Steven Ross

    This document describes the design, analysis, construction and testing of KiwiSpec, a fibre-fed, high resolution astronomical spectrograph of an asymmetric white pupil design. The instrument employs an R4, 31.6 groove mm-1 échelle grating for primary dispersion and a 725 lines mm-1 volume phase holographic (VPH) based grism for cross-dispersion. Two versions of the prototype were designed and constructed: an 'in-air' prototype, and a prototype featuring a vacuum chamber (to increase the stability of the instrument). The KiwiSpec optical design is introduced, as well as a description of the theory behind a cross-dispersed échelle spectrograph. The results of tolerancing the optical design are reported for alignment, optical fabrication, and optical surface quality groups of parameters. The optical windows of an iodine cell are also toleranced. The opto-mechanical mounts of both prototypes are described in detail, as is the design of the vacuum chamber system. Given the goal of 1 m/s radial velocity stability, analyses were undertaken to determine the allowable amount of movement of the vacuum windows, and to determine the allowable changes in temperature and pressure within and outside of the vacuum chamber. The spectral efficiency of the instrument was estimated through a predictive model; this was calculated for the as-built instrument and also for an instrument with ideal, high-efficiency coatings. Measurements of the spectral efficiency of various components of the instrument are reported, as well as a description of the measurement system developed to test the efficiency of VPH gratings. On-sky efficiency measurements from use of KiwiSpec on the 1-m McLellan telescope at Mt John University Observatory are reported. Two possible exposure meter locations are explored via an efficiency model, and also through the measurement of the zero-order reflectivity of the échelle grating. Various stability aspects of the design are investigated. These include the

  3. Apollo 16 far-ultraviolet camera/spectrograph: Earth observations.

    PubMed

    Carruthers, G R; Page, T

    1972-09-01

    A far-ultraviolet camera/spectograph experiment was operated on the lunar surface during the Apollo 16 mission. Among the data obtained were images and spectra of the terrestrial atmosphere and geocorona in the wavelength range below 1600 angstroms. These gave the spatial distributions and relative intensities of emissions due to atomic hydrogen, atomic oxygen, molecular nitrogen, and other species-some observed spectrographically for the first time.

  4. The Goddard High Resolution Spectrograph: Instrument, goals, and science results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brandt, J. C.; Heap, S. R.; Beaver, E. A.; Boggess, A.; Carpenter, K. G.; Ebbets, D. C.; Hutchings, J. B.; Jura, M.; Leckrone, D. S.; Linsky, J. L.

    1994-01-01

    The Goddard High Resolution Spectrograph (GHRS), currently in Earth orbit on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), operates in the wavelength range 1150-3200 A with spectral resolutions (lambda/delta lambda) of approximately 2 x 10(exp 3), 2 x 10(exp 4), and 1 x 10(exp 3). The instrument and its development from inception, its current status, the approach to operations, representative results in the major areas of the scientific goals, and prospects for the future are described.

  5. First light results from the Hermes spectrograph at the AAT

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sheinis, Andrew; Barden, Sam; Birchall, Michael; Carollo, Daniela; Bland-Hawthorn, Joss; Brzeski, Jurek; Case, Scott; Cannon, Russell; Churilov, Vladimir; Couch, Warrick; Dean, Robert; De Silva, Gayandhi; D'Orazi, Valentina; Farrell, Tony; Fiegert, Kristin; Freeman, Kenneth; Frost, Gabriella; Gers, Luke; Goodwin, Michael; Gray, Doug; Heald, Ron; Heijmans, Jeroen; Jones, Damien; Keller, Stephan; Klauser, Urs; Kondrat, Yuriy; Lawrence, Jon; Lee, Steve; Mali, Slavko; Martell, Sarah; Mathews, Darren; Mayfield, Don; Miziarski, Stan; Muller, Rolf; Pai, Naveen; Patterson, Robert; Penny, Ed; Orr, David; Shortridge, Keith; Simpson, Jeffrey; Smedley, Scott; Smith, Greg; Stafford, Darren; Staszak, Nicholas; Vuong, Minh; Waller, Lewis; Wylie de Boer, Elizabeth; Xavier, Pascal; Zheng, Jessica; Zhelem, Ross; Zucker, Daniel

    2014-07-01

    The High Efficiency and Resolution Multi Element Spectrograph, HERMES is an facility-class optical spectrograph for the AAT. It is designed primarily for Galactic Archeology [21], the first major attempt to create a detailed understanding of galaxy formation and evolution by studying the history of our own galaxy, the Milky Way. The goal of the GALAH survey is to reconstruct the mass assembly history of the of the Milky Way, through a detailed spatially tagged abundance study of one million stars. The spectrograph is based at the Anglo Australian Telescope (AAT) and is fed by the existing 2dF robotic fiber positioning system. The spectrograph uses VPH-gratings to achieve a spectral resolving power of 28,000 in standard mode and also provides a high-resolution mode ranging between 40,000 to 50,000 using a slit mask. The GALAH survey requires a SNR greater than 100 for a star brightness of V=14. The total spectral coverage of the four channels is about 100nm between 370 and 1000nm for up to 392 simultaneous targets within the 2 degree field of view. Hermes has been commissioned over 3 runs, during bright time in October, November and December 2013, in parallel with the beginning of the GALAH Pilot survey starting in November 2013. In this paper we present the first-light results from the commissioning run and the beginning of the GALAH Survey, including performance results such as throughput and resolution, as well as instrument reliability. We compare the abundance calculations from the pilot survey to those in the literature.

  6. Hobby-Eberly Telescope low-resolution spectrograph: optical design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cobos Duenas, Francisco J.; Tejada, Carlos; Hill, Gary J.; Perez G., F.

    1998-07-01

    The Hobby Eberly Telescope (HET) is a revolutionary large telescope of 9.2 meter aperture, which is currently undergoing commissioning at McDonald Observatory. First light was obtained on December 11, 1996. Scientific operations are expected in 1998. The Low Resolution Spectrograph (LRS, a collaboration between the University of Texas at Austin, the Instituto de Astronomia de la Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Stanford University, Ludwig-Maximillians-Universitat, Munich and Georg-August-Universitat, Gottingen) is a high throughput, imaging spectrograph which rides on the HET tracker at prime focus. The LRS will be the first HET facility instrument. The unique nature of the HET has led to interesting optical design solutions for the LRS, aimed at high performance and simplicity. The LRS is a grism spectrograph with a refractive collimator and a catadioptric f/1.4 camera. The beam size is 140 mm, resulting in resolving powers between (lambda) /(Delta) (lambda) approximately 600 and 3000 with a 1 arcsec wide slit. The LRS optics were designed and partially fabricated at the IAUNAM. We present a description of the LRS specifications and optical design, and describe the manufacturing process.

  7. Hobby-Eberly Telescope low-resolution spectrograph: mechanical design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hill, Gary J.; Nicklas, Harald E.; MacQueen, Phillip J.; Mitsch, Wolfgang; Wellem, Walter; Altmann, Werner; Wesley, Gordon L.; Ray, Frank B.

    1998-07-01

    The Hobby-Eberly Telescope (HET) is a revolutionary large telescope of 9.2 meter aperture, located in West Texas at McDonald Observatory. The Low Resolution Spectrograph [LRS, an international collaboration between the University of Texas at Austin (UT), the Instituto de Astronomia de la Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (IAUNAM), Stanford University, Ludwig-Maximillians-Universitat, Munich (USM), and Georg- August-Universitat, Gottingen (USG)] is a high throughput, imaging grism spectrograph which rides on the HET tracker at prime focus. The remote location and tight space and weight constraints make the LRS a challenging instrument, built on a limited budget. The mechanical design and fabrication were done in Germany, and the camera and CCD system in Texas. The LRS is a grism spectrograph with three modes of operation: imaging, longslit, and multi-object. Here we present a detailed description of the mechanical design of the LRS. Fabrication, assembly and testing of the LRS will be completed by mid 1998. First light for the LRS on the HET is expected in the summer of 1998.

  8. SPRAT: Spectrograph for the Rapid Acquisition of Transients

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piascik, A. S.; Steele, Iain A.; Bates, Stuart D.; Mottram, Christopher J.; Smith, R. J.; Barnsley, R. M.; Bolton, B.

    2014-07-01

    We describe the development of a low cost, low resolution (R ~ 350), high throughput, long slit spectrograph covering visible (4000-8000) wavelengths. The spectrograph has been developed for fully robotic operation with the Liverpool Telescope (La Palma). The primary aim is to provide rapid spectral classification of faint (V ˜ 20) transient objects detected by projects such as Gaia, iPTF (intermediate Palomar Transient Factory), LOFAR, and a variety of high energy satellites. The design employs a volume phase holographic (VPH) transmission grating as the dispersive element combined with a prism pair (grism) in a linear optical path. One of two peak spectral sensitivities are selectable by rotating the grism. The VPH and prism combination and entrance slit are deployable, and when removed from the beam allow the collimator/camera pair to re-image the target field onto the detector. This mode of operation provides automatic acquisition of the target onto the slit prior to spectrographic observation through World Coordinate System fitting. The selection and characterisation of optical components to maximise photon throughput is described together with performance predictions.

  9. The Hercules Échelle Spectrograph at Mt. John

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hearnshaw, J. B.; Barnes, S. I.; Kershaw, G. M.; Frost, N.; Graham, G.; Ritchie, R.; Nankivell, G. R.

    2002-03-01

    The High Efficiency and Resolution Canterbury University Large Échelle Spectrograph (HERCULES) a fibre-fed échelle spectrograph that was designed and built at the University of Canterbury and has been in operation at Mt. John University Observatory since April 2001.HERCULES receives light from the f/13.5 Cassegrain focus of the 1 m McLellan telescope. Resolving powers of R = 41 000, 70 000 and 82 000 are available. An R2 200 × 400 mm échelle grating provides dispersion and cross-dispersion uses a large BK7 prism in double pass. The wavelength coverage is designed to be 380-880 nm in a single exposure. The maximum detective quantum efficiency of the fibre, spectrograph and detector system is about 18% in 2 arc second seeing. High wavelength stability (to better than 10 ms-1 in radial velocity) is achieved by installing the whole instrument in a large vacuum tank at 2-4 torr and by there being no moving parts. The tank is in a thermally isolated and insulated environment. The paper describes the design philosophy of HERCULES and its performance during the first year of operation.

  10. Fibre Multi-Object Spectrograph (FMOS) for the Subaru Telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kimura, Masahiko; Maihara, Toshinori; Iwamuro, Fumihide; Akiyama, Masayuki; Tamura, Naoyuki; Dalton, Gavin B.; Takato, Naruhisa; Tait, Philip; Ohta, Kouji; Eto, Shigeru; Mochida, Daisaku; Elms, Brian; Kawate, Kaori; Kurakami, Tomio; Moritani, Yuuki; Noumaru, Junichi; Ohshima, Norio; Sumiyoshi, Masanao; Yabe, Kiyoto; Brzeski, Jurek; Farrell, Tony; Frost, Gabriella; Gillingham, Peter R.; Haynes, Roger; Moore, Anna M.; Muller, Rolf; Smedley, Scott; Smith, Greg; Bonfield, David G.; Brooks, Charles B.; Holmes, Alan R.; Curtis Lake, Emma; Lee, Hanshin; Lewis, Ian J.; Froud, Tim R.; Tosh, Ian A.; Woodhouse, Guy F.; Blackburn, Colin; Content, Robert; Dipper, Nigel; Murray, Graham; Sharples, Ray; Robertson, David J.

    2010-10-01

    Fibre Multi-Object Spectrograph (FMOS) is the first near-infrared instrument with a wide field of view capable of acquiring spectra simultaneously from up to 400 objects. It has been developed as a common-use instrument for the F/2 prime-focus of the Subaru Telescope. The field coverage of 30' diameter is achieved using a new 3-element corrector optimized in the near-infrared (0.9-1.8μm) wavelength range. Due to limited space at the prime-focus, we have had to develop a novel fibre positioner, called ``Echidna'', together with two OH-airglow suppressed spectrographs. FMOS consists of three subsystems: the prime focus unit for IR, the fibre positioning system/connector units, and the two spectrographs. After full systems integration, FMOS was installed on the telescope in late 2007. Many aspects of the performance were checked through various test and engineering observations. In this paper, we present the optical and mechanical components of FMOS, and show the results of our on-sky engineering observations to date.

  11. Solar glint suppression in compact planetary ultraviolet spectrographs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davis, Michael W.; Cook, Jason C.; Grava, Cesare; Greathouse, Thomas K.; Gladstone, G. Randall; Retherford, Kurt D.

    2015-08-01

    Solar glint suppression is an important consideration in the design of compact photon-counting ultraviolet spectrographs. Southwest Research Institute developed the Lyman Alpha Mapping Project for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (launch in 2009), and the Ultraviolet Spectrograph on Juno (Juno-UVS, launch in 2011). Both of these compact spectrographs revealed minor solar glints in flight that did not appear in pre-launch analyses. These glints only appeared when their respective spacecraft were operating outside primary science mission parameters. Post-facto scattered light analysis verifies the geometries at which these glints occurred and why they were not caught during ground testing or nominal mission operations. The limitations of standard baffle design at near-grazing angles are discussed, as well as the importance of including surface scatter properties in standard stray light analyses when determining solar keep-out efficiency. In particular, the scattered light analysis of these two instruments shows that standard "one bounce" assumptions in baffle design are not always enough to prevent scattered sunlight from reaching the instrument focal plane. Future builds, such as JUICE-UVS, will implement improved scattered and stray light modeling early in the design phase to enhance capabilities in extended mission science phases, as well as optimize solar keep out volume.

  12. A wide-angle magnetic spectrograph of a novel design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andrzejewski, Roch; Lucas, Julio; Guirao, Angel; Gordillo, Nuria; Boerma, Dirk

    2006-08-01

    At the 5 MV tandem accelerator of the CMAM we install a UHV magnetic spectrograph for the detection of scattered and recoiled ions. Its special feature is that the ions emerging from the sample are passing through a 4 nm thick DLC foil before entering the spectrograph. The secondary electrons emerging from this foil upon passage of an ion are focused on a two-dimensional position sensitive multi-channel plate (MCP) detector with delay-line read-out. From their impact position on this detector the direction of the ion is determined with a precision of 0.15° within an elliptical cone of 6° × 9°. The spectrograph, consisting of a 115° sector magnet with special shaped pole faces, focuses the ions onto a one-dimensional position sensitive MCP detector, also with delay-line read-out, in the focal plane of the magnet. The time delay of the coincident pulses in the first and second detector is measured so that the velocity v of the ion is known in addition to the magnetic rigidity mv/q, allowing determination of m/q. The energy resolution is determined by the straggling in the foil and amounts to ΔE/E ≈ 10-3 for 2 MeV α particles. Blocking patterns of scattered or recoiled ions can be measured in one run. Because of the ion identification implied in the system, recoil spectra can be generated with light ions used as projectile.

  13. Wide band focusing x-ray spectrograph with spatial resolution

    SciTech Connect

    Pikuz, S. A.; Douglass, J. D.; Shelkovenko, T. A.; Sinars, D. B.; Hammer, D. A.

    2008-01-15

    A new, wide spectral bandwidth x-ray spectrograph, the wide-bandwidth focusing spectrograph with spatial resolution (WB-FSSR), based on spherically bent mica crystals, is described. The wide bandwidth is achieved by combining three crystals to form a large aperture dispersive element. Since the WB-FSSR covers a wide spectral band, it is very convenient for application as a routine diagnostic tool in experiments in which the desired spectral coverage is different from one test to the next. The WB-FSSR has been tested in imploding wire-array experiments on a 1 MA pulsed power machine, and x-ray spectra were recorded in the 1-20 A spectral band using different orders of mica crystal reflection. Using a two mirror-symmetrically placed WB-FSSR configuration, it was also possible to distinguish between a real spectral shift and a shift of recorded spectral lines caused by the spatial distribution of the radiating plasma. A spectral resolution of about 2000 was demonstrated and a spatial resolution of {approx}100 {mu}m was achieved in the spectral band of 5-10 A in second order of mica reflection. A simple method of numerical analysis of spectrograph capability is proposed.

  14. ORCID Uptake in the Astronomical Community

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holmquist, Jane

    2015-08-01

    The IAU General Assembly provides librarians with a unique opportunity to interact with astronomers from all over the world. From the perspective of an ORCID Ambassador, the Focus Group Meeting on "Scholarly Publication in Astronomy" also provides an opportunity to demonstrate the cooperation and collaboration needed by individual astronomers, societies, librarians, publishers and bibliographic database providers to achieve universal adoption of ORCID, a standard unique identifier for authors, just as the DOI (digital object identifier) has been adopted for each journal article published.I propose to 1) present at the Focus Group Meeting an update on the uptake of ORCID by members of the astronomical community and 2) set up a small station (TBA) near the IAU registration area where librarians can show researchers how to register for an ORCID in 30 seconds.

  15. The associate principal astronomer telescope operations model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Drummond, Mark; Bresina, John; Swanson, Keith; Edgington, Will; Henry, Greg

    1994-01-01

    This paper outlines a new telescope operations model that is intended to achieve low operating costs with high operating efficiency and high scientific productivity. The model is based on the existing Principal Astronomer approach used in conjunction with ATIS, a language for commanding remotely located automatic telescopes. This paper introduces the notion of an Associate Principal Astronomer, or APA. At the heart of the APA is automatic observation loading and scheduling software, and it is this software that is expected to help achieve efficient and productive telescope operations. The purpose of the APA system is to make it possible for astronomers to submit observation requests to and obtain resulting data from remote automatic telescopes, via the Internet, in a highly-automated way that minimizes human interaction with the system and maximizes the scientific return from observing time.

  16. Design of a multifunction astronomical CCD camera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yao, Dalei; Wen, Desheng; Xue, Jianru; Chen, Zhi; Wen, Yan; Jiang, Baotan; Xi, Jiangbo

    2015-07-01

    To satisfy the requirement of the astronomical observation, a novel timing sequence of frame transfer CCD is proposed. The multiple functions such as the adjustments of work pattern, exposure time and frame frequency are achieved. There are four work patterns: normal, standby, zero exposure and test. The adjustment of exposure time can set multiple exposure time according to the astronomical observation. The fame frequency can be adjusted when dark target is imaged and the maximum exposure time cannot satisfy the requirement. On the design of the video processing, offset correction and adjustment of multiple gains are proposed. Offset correction is used for eliminating the fixed pattern noise of CCD. Three gains pattern can improve the signal to noise ratio of astronomical observation. Finally, the images in different situations are collected and the system readout noise is calculated. The calculation results show that the designs in this paper are practicable.

  17. Future Directions for Astronomical Image Display

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mandel, Eric

    1997-01-01

    In our "Future Directions for Astronomical Image Display" project, the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) and the National Optical Astronomy Observatories (NOAO) will evolve our existing image display software into a fully extensible, cross-platform image display server that can run stand-alone or be integrated seamlessly into astronomical analysis systems. We will build a Plug-in Image Extension (PIE) server for astronomy, consisting of a modular image display engine that can be customized using "plug-in" technology. We will create plug-ins that reproduce all the current functionality of SAOtng. We also will devise a messaging system and a set of distributed, shared data objects to support integrating the PIE server into astronomical analysis systems. Finally, we will migrate our PIE server, plug-ins, and messaging software from Unix and the X Window System to a platform-independent architecture that utilizes cross-platform technology such as Tcl/Tk or Java.

  18. Astronomers Without Borders: A Global Astronomy Community

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simmons, M.

    2011-10-01

    Astronomers Without Borders (AWB) brings together astronomy enthusiasts of all types - amateur astronomers, educators, professionals and "armchair" astronomers for a variety of online and physicalworld programs. The AWB web site provides social networking and a base for online programs that engage people worldwide in astronomy activities that transcend geopolitical and cultural borders. There is universal interest in astronomy, which has been present in all cultures throughout recorded history. Astronomy is also among the most accessible of sciences with the natural laboratory of the sky being available to people worldwide. There are few other interests for which people widely separated geographically can engage in activities involving the same objects. AWB builds on those advantages to bring people together. AWB also provides a platform where projects can reach a global audience. AWB also provides unique opportunities for multidisciplinary collaboration in EPO programs. Several programs including The World at Night, Global Astronomy Month and others will be described along with lessons learned.

  19. DVD Database Astronomical Manuscripts in Georgia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simonia, I.; Simonia, Ts.; Abuladze, T.; Chkhikvadze, N.; Samkurashvili, L.; Pataridze, K.

    2016-06-01

    Little known and unknown Georgian, Persian, and Arabic astronomical manuscripts of IX-XIX centuries are kept in the centers, archives, and libraries of Georgia. These manuscripts has a form of treaties, handbooks, texts, tables, fragments, and comprises various theories, cosmological models, star catalogs, calendars, methods of observations. We investigated this large material and published DVD database Astronomical Manuscripts in Georgia. This unique database contains information about astronomical manuscripts as original works. It contains also descriptions of Georgian translations of Byzantine, Arabic and other sources. The present paper is dedicated to description of obtained results and DVD database. Copies of published DVD database are kept in collections of the libraries of: Ilia State University, Georgia; Royal Observatory, Edinburgh, UK; Congress of the USA, and in other centers.

  20. Hartung's Astronomical Objects for Southern Telescopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malin, David; Frew, David J.

    1995-10-01

    Many of the most spectacular astronomical objects are found in the southern skies. With this up-to-date, superbly illustrated handbook, both the amateur with binoculars and the expert with a telescope can make discoveries about new and interesting objects. Professor E. J. Hartung first produced his comprehensive and highly respected guide in 1968. Now the book has been greatly expanded and thoroughly revised, enhancing its character as an indispensable information source. With over 150 illustrations, new material is included on constellations and celestial coordinate systems as well as more modern descriptions of stars, nebulae and galaxies. The authors have included a new "southern Messier" list of objects. The authors' passion for their subject make this a unique and inspirational book. Many of the beautiful photographs were taken by David Malin, the world's leading astronomical photographer. The result will fascinate active and armchair astronomers alike.

  1. Aligning Astronomical Telescopes via Identification of Stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Whorton, Mark

    2010-01-01

    A proposed method of automated, precise alignment of a ground-based astronomical telescope would eliminate the need for initial manual alignment. The method, based on automated identification of known stars and other celestial objects in the telescope field of view, would also eliminate the need for an initial estimate of the aiming direction. The method does not require any equipment other than a digital imaging device such as a charge-coupled-device digital imaging camera and control computers of the telescope and camera, all of which are standard components in professional astronomical telescope systems and in high-end amateur astronomical telescope systems. The method could be implemented in software running in the telescope or camera control computer or in an external computer communicating with the telescope pointing mount and camera control computers.

  2. The Transformation of an Astronomical Institution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeVorkin, David H.

    2012-01-01

    In 1954 the Astrophysical Observatory of the Smithsonian Institution was closed down in Washington and transferred to Harvard, becoming the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. It was a bureau of the Harvard College Observatory but was wholly governed by the Smithsonian in Washington. Historians such as the speaker and Ron Doel have explored the nature of the transfer, but not so much its implications. Specifically, soon after the transfer, the SAO geared up for the IGY, the only astronomical institution to do so in a big way, and the NSF became the conduit for a vastly increased level of activity of a character and scale only dreamed of by astronomers prior to the Cold War era. This support, and soon additional NASA and Air Force support, led to the SAO becoming one of the largest astronomical institutions on the planet by the mid-1960s. We will explore some of the implications.

  3. Early results from the infrared astronomical satellite.

    PubMed

    Neugebauer, G; Beichman, C A; Soifer, B T; Aumann, H H; Chester, T J; Gautier, T N; Gillett, F C; Hauser, M G; Houck, J R; Lonsdale, C J; Low, F J; Young, E T

    1984-04-01

    For 10 months the Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS) provided astronomers with what might be termed their first view of the infrared sky on a clear, dark night. Without IRAS, atmospheric absorption and the thermal emission from both the atmosphere and Earthbound telescopes make the task of the infrared astronomer comparable to what an optical astronomer would face if required to work only on cloudy afternoons. IRAS observations are serving astronomers in the same manner as the photographic plates of the Palomar Observatory Sky Survey; just as the optical survey has been used by all astronomers for over three decades, as a source of quantitative information about the sky and as a "roadmap" for future observations, the results of IRAS will be studied for years to come. IRAS has demonstrated the power of infrared astronomy from space. Already, from a brief look at a miniscule fraction of the data available, we have learned much about the solar system, about nearby stars, about the Galaxy as a whole and about distant extragalactic systems. Comets are much dustier than previously thought. Solid particles, presumably the remnants of the star-formation process, orbit around Vega and other stars and may provide the raw material for planetary systems. Emission from cool interstellar material has been traced throughout the Galaxy all the way to the galactic poles. Both the clumpiness and breadth of the distribution of this material were previously unsuspected. The far-infrared sky away from the galactic plane has been found to be dominated by spiral galaxies, some of which emit more than 50 percent and as much as 98 percent of their energy in the infrared-an exciting and surprising revelation. The IRAS mission is clearly the pathfinder for future missions that, to a large extent, will be devoted to the discoveries revealed by IRAS. PMID:17783499

  4. Beam Calibration of Radio Telescopes with Drones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chang, Chihway; Monstein, Christian; Refregier, Alexandre; Amara, Adam; Glauser, Adrian; Casura, Sarah

    2015-11-01

    We present a multifrequency far-field beam map for the 5-m dish telescope at the Bleien Observatory measured using a commercially available drone. We describe the hexacopter drone used in this experiment, the design of the flight pattern, and the data analysis scheme. This is the first application of this calibration method to a single-dish radio telescope in the far-field. The high signal-to-noise ratio data allows us to characterize the beam pattern with high accuracy out to at least the fourth side-lobe. The resulting two-dimensional beam pattern is compared with that derived from a more traditional calibration approach using an astronomical calibration source. We discuss the advantages of this method compared to other beam calibration methods. Our results show that this drone-based technique is very promising for ongoing and future radio experiments, where the knowledge of the beam pattern is key to obtaining high-accuracy cosmological and astronomical measurements.

  5. Water-Powered Astronomical Clock Tower

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Xiaochun

    The construction of water-powered astronomical instruments was a long tradition of instrument making that started in the second century AD with Zhang Heng's water-powered celestial globe. The technology reached a peak when, in the eleventh century, Su Song and his team constructed the Water-Powered Astronomical Clock Tower which combined the armillary sphere, the celestial globe, and the time-keeping mechanism into a large automatic structure. Su Song's instrument contained a mechanism for controlling the water-powered movements of its wheels that amounts to an "escapement mechanism" for a mechanical clock. A new reconstruction of the mechanism is introduced in this chapter.

  6. Johann and Elizabeth Hevelius, astronomers of Danzig.

    PubMed

    Cook, A

    2000-01-01

    Elizabeth Hevelius (1647-1693) was the second wife of Johann Hevelius, the renowned astronomer of Danzig, and assisted with his observations from the first years of her marriage. Hevelius wrote of her in his books as an able collaborator and she is portrayed in one of them observing with him. She brought out his final, posthumous work. With Johann, she received many notable visitors (including Edmond Halley) and observed with some of them at Danzig. She is the first woman astronomer of whom we have any record.

  7. Astronomers gossip about the (cosmic) neighborhood.

    PubMed

    Jayawardhana, R

    1994-09-01

    The Hague, Netherlands, last month welcomed 2000 astronomers from around the world for the 22nd General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union (IAU). From 15 to 27 August, they participated in symposia and discussions on topics ranging from the down-to-Earth issue of light and radio-frequency pollution to the creation of elements at the farthest reaches of time and space, in the big bang. Some of the most striking news, however, came in new findings from our galaxy and its immediate surroundings. PMID:17801522

  8. The near infrared camera for the Subaru Prime Focus Spectrograph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smee, Stephen A.; Gunn, James E.; Golebiowski, Mirek; Barkhouser, Robert; Vivès, Sebastien; Pascal, Sandrine; Carr, Michael; Hope, Stephen C.; Loomis, Craig; Hart, Murdock; Sugai, Hajime; Tamura, Naoyuki; Shimono, Atsushi

    2014-08-01

    We present the detailed design of the near infrared camera for the SuMIRe (Subaru Measurement of Images and Redshifts) Prime Focus Spectrograph (PFS) being developed for the Subaru Telescope. The PFS spectrograph is designed to collect spectra from 2394 objects simultaneously, covering wavelengths that extend from 380 nm - 1.26 μm. The spectrograph is comprised of four identical spectrograph modules, with each module collecting roughly 600 spectra from a robotic fiber positioner at the telescope prime focus. Each spectrograph module will have two visible channels covering wavelength ranges 380 nm - 640 nm and 640 nm - 955 nm, and one near infrared (NIR) channel with a wavelength range 955 nm - 1.26 μm. Dispersed light in each channel is imaged by a 300 mm focal length, f/1.07, vacuum Schmidt camera onto a 4k x 4k, 15 µm pixel, detector format. For the NIR channel a HgCdTe substrate-removed Teledyne 1.7 μm cutoff device is used. In the visible channels, CCDs from Hamamatsu are used. These cameras are large, having a clear aperture of 300 mm at the entrance window, and a mass of ~ 250 kg. Like the two visible channel cameras, the NIR camera contains just four optical elements: a two-element refractive corrector, a Mangin mirror, and a field flattening lens. This simple design produces very good imaging performance considering the wide field and wavelength range, and it does so in large part due to the use of a Mangin mirror (a lens with a reflecting rear surface) for the Schmidt primary. In the case of the NIR camera, the rear reflecting surface is a dichroic, which reflects in-band wavelengths and transmits wavelengths beyond 1.26 μm. This, combined with a thermal rejection filter coating on the rear surface of the second corrector element, greatly reduces the out-of-band thermal radiation that reaches the detector. The camera optics and detector are packaged in a cryostat and cooled by two Stirling cycle cryocoolers. The first corrector element serves as the

  9. The Gaia-ESO Survey Astrophysical Calibration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pancino, E.; Gaia-ESO Survey Consortium

    2016-05-01

    The Gaia-ESO Survey is a wide field spectroscopic survey recently started with the FLAMES@VLT in Cerro Paranal, Chile. It will produce radial velocities more accurate than Gaia's for faint stars (down to V ≃ 18), and astrophysical parameters and abundances for approximately 100 000 stars, belonging to all Galactic populations. 300 nights were assigned in 5 years (with the last year subject to approval after a detailed report). In particular, to connect with other ongoing and planned spectroscopic surveys, a detailed calibration program — for the astrophysical parameters derivation — is planned, including well known clusters, Gaia benchmark stars, and special equatorial calibration fields designed for wide field/multifiber spectrographs.

  10. ALTEA calibration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zaconte, V.; Altea Team

    The ALTEA project is aimed at studying the possible functional damages to the Central Nervous System (CNS) due to particle radiation in space environment. The project is an international and multi-disciplinary collaboration. The ALTEA facility is an helmet-shaped device that will study concurrently the passage of cosmic radiation through the brain, the functional status of the visual system and the electrophysiological dynamics of the cortical activity. The basic instrumentation is composed by six active particle telescopes, one ElectroEncephaloGraph (EEG), a visual stimulator and a pushbutton. The telescopes are able to detect the passage of each particle measuring its energy, trajectory and released energy into the brain and identifying nuclear species. The EEG and the Visual Stimulator are able to measure the functional status of the visual system, the cortical electrophysiological activity, and to look for a correlation between incident particles, brain activity and Light Flash perceptions. These basic instruments can be used separately or in any combination, permitting several different experiments. ALTEA is scheduled to fly in the International Space Station (ISS) in November, 15th 2004. In this paper the calibration of the Flight Model of the silicon telescopes (Silicon Detector Units - SDUs) will be shown. These measures have been taken at the GSI heavy ion accelerator in Darmstadt. First calibration has been taken out in November 2003 on the SDU-FM1 using C nuclei at different energies: 100, 150, 400 and 600 Mev/n. We performed a complete beam scan of the SDU-FM1 to check functionality and homogeneity of all strips of silicon detector planes, for each beam energy we collected data to achieve good statistics and finally we put two different thickness of Aluminium and Plexiglas in front of the detector in order to study fragmentations. This test has been carried out with a Test Equipment to simulate the Digital Acquisition Unit (DAU). We are scheduled to

  11. Gemini planet imager observational calibrations IV: wavelength calibration and flexure correction for the integral field spectograph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolff, Schuyler G.; Perrin, Marshall D.; Maire, Jérôme; Ingraham, Patrick J.; Rantakyrö, Fredrik T.; Hibon, Pascale

    2014-08-01

    We present the wavelength calibration for the lenslet-based Integral Field Spectrograph (IFS) that serves as the science instrument for the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI). The GPI IFS features a 2.7" x 2.7" field of view and a 190 x 190 lenslet array (14.3 mas/lenslet) operating in Y, J, H, and K bands with spectral resolving power ranging from R ~ 35 to 78. Due to variations across the field of view, a unique wavelength solution is determined for each lenslet characterized by a two-dimensional position, the spectral dispersion, and the rotation of the spectrum with respect to the detector axes. The four free parameters are fit using a constrained Levenberg-Marquardt least-squares minimization algorithm, which compares an individual lenslet's arc lamp spectrum to a simulated arc lamp spectrum. This method enables measurement of spectral positions to better than 1/10th of a pixel on the GPI IFS detector using Gemini's facility calibration lamp unit GCAL, improving spectral extraction accuracy compared to earlier approaches. Using such wavelength calibrations we have measured how internal flexure of the spectrograph with changing zenith angle shifts spectra on the detector. We describe the methods used to compensate for these shifts when assembling datacubes from on-sky observations using GPI.

  12. Space astronomical telescopes and instruments; Proceedings of the Meeting, Orlando, FL, Apr. 1-4, 1991

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bely, Pierre Y. (Editor); Breckinridge, James B. (Editor)

    1991-01-01

    The present volume on space astronomical telescopes and instruments discusses lessons from the HST, telescopes on the moon, future space missions, and mirror fabrication and active control. Attention is given to the in-flight performance of the Goddard high-resolution spectrograph of the HST, the initial performance of the high-speed photometer, results from HST fine-guidance sensors, and reconstruction of the HST mirror figure from out-of-focus stellar images. Topics addressed include system concepts for a large UV/optical/IR telescope on the moon, optical design considerations for next-generation space and lunar telescopes, the implications of lunar dust for astronomical observatories, and lunar liquid-mirror telescopes. Also discussed are space design considerations for the Space Infrared Telescope Facility, the Hubble extrasolar planet interferometer, Si:Ga focal-plane arrays for satellite and ground-based telescopes, microchannel-plate detectors for space-based astronomy, and a method for making ultralight primary mirrors.

  13. WAVELENGTH ACCURACY OF THE KECK HIRES SPECTROGRAPH AND MEASURING CHANGES IN THE FINE STRUCTURE CONSTANT

    SciTech Connect

    Griest, Kim; Whitmore, Jonathan B.; Wolfe, Arthur M.; Prochaska, J. Xavier; Howk, J. Christopher; Marcy, Geoffrey W. E-mail: jonathan.b.whitmore@gmail.co

    2010-01-01

    We report on an attempt to accurately wavelength calibrate four nights of data taken with the Keck HIRES spectrograph on QSO PHL957, for the purpose of determining whether the fine structure constant was different in the past. Using new software and techniques, we measured the redshifts of various Ni II, Fe II, Si II, etc. lines in a damped Lyalpha system at z = 2.309. Roughly half the data were taken through the Keck iodine cell which contains thousands of well calibrated iodine lines. Using these iodine exposures to calibrate the normal Th-Ar Keck data pipeline output, we found absolute wavelength offsets of 500 m s{sup -1} to 1000 m s{sup -1} with drifts of more than 500 m s{sup -1} over a single night, and drifts of nearly 2000 m s{sup -1} over several nights. These offsets correspond to an absolute redshift of uncertainty of about DELTAz approx 10{sup -5}(DELTAlambda approx 0.02 A), with daily drifts of around DELTAz approx 5 x 10{sup -6} (DELTAlambda approx 0.01 A), and multiday drifts of nearly DELTAz approx 2 x 10{sup -5}(approx0.04 A). The causes of the wavelength offsets are not known, but since claimed shifts in the fine structure constant would result in velocity shifts of less than 100 m s{sup -1}, this level of systematic uncertainty may make it difficult to use Keck HIRES data to constrain the change in the fine structure constant. Using our calibrated data, we applied both our own fitting software and standard fitting software to measure DELTAalpha/alpha, but discovered that we could obtain results ranging from significant detection of either sign, to strong null limits, depending upon which sets of lines and which fitting method were used. We thus speculate that the discrepant results on DELTAalpha/alpha reported in the literature may be due to random fluctuations coming from underestimated systematic errors in wavelength calibration and fitting procedure.

  14. An Economical High Resolution Spectrograph Optimized for Radial Velocity Measurements at 5000 Angstroms.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lyons, D.; Arion, D. N.

    2004-12-01

    A high resolution spectrometer was built and calibrated on an optical bench. The target resolution of the instrument was designed to allow accurate measurement of the Doppler shifts of the 5007 Angstrom O III line in planetary nebulae due to their expansion. The optical components of the instrument include two Meade ETX 90 Maksutov-Cassegrain telescopes, a Richardson Grating Laboratory reflection diffraction grating, nickel-plated glass slides used as slit apertures, and an SBIG ST-8E CCD imaging camera. The mounts for each of the optical components were machined out of aluminum bar and plate stock. The instrument was calibrated using He and Hg gas discharge tubes generating spectra of known wavelengths. A total of four sets of lines were imaged and analyzed to calibrate the instrument. The line shapes in the images were manually fit with functions approximating the pressure and Doppler broadening of the lines, as expected for the behavior of the lines emitted by the spectrum tubes. These fits were used to identify the line peak positions, which were then compared to standard line wavelengths to determine the instrument calibration. The He I line at 5015.678 Angstrom line was carefully analyzed to determine the system wavelength uncertainty, which determines the smallest resolvable difference in wavelength that the instrument can determine. The resulting operating resolution at 5007 Angstroms was found to be 206474, making the instrument capable of resolving Doppler shifts at 5007 Angstroms corresponding to +/- 1.4 kilometers per second. The program was thus successful in developing an instrument suitable for a variety of relatively low velocity Doppler measurements, especially those associated with planetary nebula expansions. Future work entails developing a mounting system to rigidly hold the instrument on a suitable telescope, while maintaining the necessary precision to retain the instrumental resolution. This work was supported in part by Carthage College

  15. Radio Astronomers Set New Standard for Accurate Cosmic Distance Measurement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1999-06-01

    estimate of the age of the universe. In order to do this, you need an unambiguous, absolute distance to another galaxy. We are pleased that the NSF's VLBA has for the first time determined such a distance, and thus provided the calibration standard astronomers have always sought in their quest for accurate distances beyond the Milky Way," said Morris Aizenman, Executive Officer of the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Division of Astronomical Sciences. "For astronomers, this measurement is the golden meter stick in the glass case," Aizenman added. The international team of astronomers used the VLBA to measure directly the motion of gas orbiting what is generally agreed to be a supermassive black hole at the heart of NGC 4258. The orbiting gas forms a warped disk, nearly two light-years in diameter, surrounding the black hole. The gas in the disk includes water vapor, which, in parts of the disk, acts as a natural amplifier of microwave radio emission. The regions that amplify radio emission are called masers, and work in a manner similar to the way a laser amplifies light emission. Determining the distance to NGC 4258 required measuring motions of extremely small shifts in position of these masers as they rotate around the black hole. This is equivalent to measuring an angle one ten-thousandth the width of a human hair held at arm's length. "The VLBA is the only instrument in the world that could do this," said Moran. "This work is the culmination of a 20-year effort at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics to measure distances to cosmic masers," said Irwin Shapiro, Director of that institution. Collection of the data for the NGC 4258 project was begun in 1994 and was part of Herrnstein's Ph.D dissertation at Harvard University. Previous observations with the VLBA allowed the scientists to measure the speed at which the gas is orbiting the black hole, some 39 million times more massive than the Sun. They did this by observing the amount of change in the

  16. Astroquery: querying astronomical web forms and databases

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sipocz, Brigitta

    2016-03-01

    Astroquery is an Astropy affiliated package for a set of tools for querying astronomical web forms and databases. In this lightning talk I give an overview of the available services and the usage of the package including a live demo of a typical use case.

  17. Prospective Science Teachers' Conceptions about Astronomical Subjects

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Küçüközer, Hüseyin

    2007-01-01

    The main objective of this study was to identify prospective science teachers' conceptions on basic astronomical phenomena. A questionnaire consisting of nine open-ended questions was administered to 327 prospective science teachers. The questionnaire was constructed after extensive review of the literature and took into consideration the reported…

  18. BELDATA -- The Database of Belgrade Astronomical Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Milovanovic, N.; Popovic, L. C.; Dimitrijevic, M. S.

    The Belgrade Astronomical Database (BELDATA) is an Internet-based database designed to contain Stark broadening parameters, spectra of active galactic nuclei, catalogs of observations done at the Belgrade Observatory and abstracts of papers published in the publications of the observatory.

  19. The Virtual Astronomical Observatory Users Forum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muench, August A.; Emery Bunn, S.; Astronomical Observatory, Virtual

    2013-01-01

    We present the online forum astrobabel.com, which has the goal of being a gathering place for the collective community intelligence about astronomical computing. The audience for this forum is anyone engaged in the analysis of astronomical or planetary data, whether that data be observational or theoretical. It is a free, community driven site where discussions are formulated primarily around the "question and answer" format. Current topics on the forum range from “Is there a photometry package in Python?” to “Where are the support forums for astronomy software packages?” and “Why is my SDSS SkyQuery query missing galaxies?” The poster will detail the full scope of discussions in the forum, and provide some basic guidelines for ensuring high quality forum posts. We will highlight the ways astronomers can discover and participate in discussions. Further, we view this as an excellent opportunity to gather feedback and feature requests from AAS221 attendees. Acknowledgement: The Virtual Astronomical Observatory (VAO) is managed by the VAO, LLC, a non-profit company established as a partnership of the Associated Universities, Inc. and the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. The VAO is sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  20. astLib: Tools for research astronomers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hilton, Matt; Boada, Steven

    2016-07-01

    astLib is a set of Python modules for performing astronomical plots, some statistics, common calculations, coordinate conversions, and manipulating FITS images with World Coordinate System (WCS) information through PyWCSTools, a simple wrapping of WCSTools (ascl:1109.015).

  1. ASTROPHYSICS: Astronomers Spot Their First Carbon Bomb.

    PubMed

    Irion, R

    2000-11-17

    Carbon on the surface of an ultradense star detonated in a 3-hour thermonuclear explosion, according to a report at a meeting here last week of the American Astronomical Society's High Energy Astrophysics Division. If confirmed, the burst would be the first known cosmic explosion fueled solely by carbon rather than hydrogen or helium and could verify or revise models of carbon combustion.

  2. Public software for the astronomer - An overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Feigelson, Eric D.; Murtagh, Fionn

    1992-01-01

    Sources of public software are described that are available over wide-area research networks in journals and from government sources which may be valuable to the astronomer and astrophysicist. A very large amount of high-quality public software is accessible at all times. Locations with material useful for research are emphasized with practical suggestions regarding access.

  3. Professional Astronomers in Service to the AAVSO

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saladyga, M.; Waagen, E. O.

    2012-06-01

    (Abstract only) Throughout its 100-year history, the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) has welcomed professional astronomers to its membership ranks, and has encouraged their participation as organization leaders. The AAVSO has been fortunate to have over 60 distinguished professionals serve as officers (Directors, Presidents, Council), and as participants in its various scientific and organizational committees.

  4. Professional Astronomers in Service to the AAVSO

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saladyga, Michael; Waagen, E. O.

    2011-05-01

    Throughout its 100-year history, the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) has welcomed professional astronomers to its membership ranks, and has encouraged their participation as organization leaders. The AAVSO has been fortunate to have many distinguished professionals serve as officers (Directors, Presidents, Council), and as participants in its various scientific and organizational committees.

  5. Astronomical Metrics for Characterizing Dark Matter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaskins, Jennifer; Peter, Annika; Moustakas, Leonidas A.; Cyr-Racine, Francis-Yan; Buckley, Matthew; Brooks, Alyson; Tollerud, Erik Jon; Collins, Michelle; Yeonchi Kim, Stacy

    2016-01-01

    The impact of dark matter on astronomical scales as a function of environment, spatial scale and cosmic time, encodes information about its intrinsic properties. We discuss ways of systematizing the description of such constraints in a simple framework that can be useful across very different approaches to measurements in astronomy and physics.

  6. Astronomía en la cultura

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    López, A.; Giménez Benitez, S.; Fernández, L.

    La Astronomía en la Cultura es el estudio interdisciplinario a nivel global de la astronomía prehistórica, antigua y tradicional, en el marco de su contexto cultural. Esta disciplina abarca cualquier tipo de estudios o líneas de investigación en que se relacione a la astronomía con las ciencias humanas o sociales. En ella se incluyen tanto fuentes escritas, relatos orales como fuentes arqueológicas, abarcando entre otros, los siguientes temas: calendarios, observación práctica, cultos y mitos, representación simbólica de eventos, conceptos y objetos astronómicos, orientación astronómica de tumbas, templos, santuarios y centros urbanos, cosmología tradicional y la aplicación ceremonial de tradiciones astronómicas, la propia historia de la astronomía y la etnoastronomía (Krupp, 1989) (Iwaniszewski, 1994). En nuestro trabajo abordamos la historia y situación actual de esta disciplina, sus métodos y sus relaciones con otras áreas de investigación.

  7. Sparse Modeling for Astronomical Data Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ikeda, Shiro; Odaka, Hirokazu; Uemura, Makoto

    2016-03-01

    For astronomical data analysis, there have been proposed multiple methods based on sparse modeling. We have proposed a method for Compton camera imaging. The proposed approach is a sparse modeling method, but the derived algorithm is different from LASSO. We explain the problem and how we derived the method.

  8. THE SPITZER INFRARED SPECTROGRAPH DEBRIS DISK CATALOG. II. SILICATE FEATURE ANALYSIS OF UNRESOLVED TARGETS

    SciTech Connect

    Mittal, Tushar; Chen, Christine H.; Jang-Condell, Hannah; Manoj, P.; Sargent, Benjamin A.; Watson, Dan M.; Lisse, Carey M.

    2015-01-10

    During the Spitzer Space Telescope cryogenic mission, astronomers obtained Infrared Spectrograph (IRS) observations of hundreds of debris disk candidates that have been compiled in the Spitzer IRS Debris Disk Catalog. We have discovered 10 and/or 20 μm silicate emission features toward 120 targets in the catalog and modeled the IRS spectra of these sources, consistent with MIPS 70 μm observations, assuming that the grains are composed of silicates (olivine, pyroxene, forsterite, and enstatite) and are located either in a continuous disk with power-law size and surface density distributions or thin rings that are well-characterized using two separate dust grain temperatures. For systems better fit by the continuous disk model, we find that (1) the dust size distribution power-law index is consistent with that expected from a collisional cascade, q = 3.5-4.0, with a large number of values outside this range, and (2) the minimum grain size, a {sub min}, increases with stellar luminosity, L {sub *}, but the dependence of a {sub min} on L {sub *} is weaker than expected from radiation pressure alone. In addition, we also find that (3) the crystalline fraction of dust in debris disks evolves as a function of time with a large dispersion in crystalline fractions for stars of any particular stellar age or mass, (4) the disk inner edge is correlated with host star mass, and (5) there exists substantial variation in the properties of coeval disks in Sco-Cen, indicating that the observed variation is probably due to stochasticity and diversity in planet formation.

  9. Dust around R Coronae Borealis Stars. I. Spitzer/Infrared Spectrograph Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    García-Hernández, D. A.; Rao, N. Kameswara; Lambert, David L.

    2011-09-01

    Spitzer/infrared spectrograph (IRS) spectra from 5 to 37 μm for a complete sample of 31 R Coronae Borealis stars (RCBs) are presented. These spectra are combined with optical and near-infrared photometry of each RCB at maximum light to compile a spectral energy distribution (SED). The SEDs are fitted with blackbody flux distributions and estimates are made of the ratio of the infrared flux from circumstellar dust to the flux emitted by the star. Comparisons for 29 of the 31 stars are made with the Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS) fluxes from three decades earlier: Spitzer and IRAS fluxes at 12 μm and 25 μm are essentially equal for all but a minority of the sample. For this minority, the IRAS to Spitzer flux ratio exceeds a factor of three. The outliers are suggested to be stars where formation of a dust cloud or dust puff is a rare event. A single puff ejected prior to the IRAS observations may have been reobserved by Spitzer as a cooler puff at a greater distance from the RCB. RCBs which experience more frequent optical declines have, in general, a circumstellar environment containing puffs subtending a larger solid angle at the star and a quasi-constant infrared flux. Yet, the estimated subtended solid angles and the blackbody temperatures of the dust show a systematic evolution to lower solid angles and cooler temperatures in the interval between IRAS and Spitzer. Dust emission by these RCBs and those in the LMC is similar in terms of total 24 μm luminosity and [8.0]-[24.0] color index.

  10. MOONS: A New Powerful Multi-Object Spectrograph for the VLT

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cirasuolo, M.; MOONS Consortium

    2016-10-01

    MOONS (the Multi-Object Optical and Near-infrared Spectrograph) is a third-generation instrument for the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT). The large collecting area offered by the VLT (8.2 m diameter), combined with the large multiplex and wavelength coverage (optical to near-IR: 0.64 μm - 1.8 μm) of MOONS will provide the European astronomical community with a powerful, unique instrument able to pioneer a wide range of Galactic, Extragalactic and Cosmological studies, and the crucial follow-up for major facilities such as Gaia, VISTA, Euclid and LSST. MOONS has the observational power needed to unveil galaxy formation and evolution over the entire history of the Universe, from stars in our Milky Way, through the redshift desert, and up to the epoch of the very first galaxies and reionization of the Universe at redshifts of z > 8-9, just a few million years after the Big Bang. From five years of observations MOONS will provide high-quality spectra for >3 M stars in our Galaxy and the Local Group, and for 1-2 M galaxies at z >1 (for an SDSS-like survey), promising to revolutionize our understanding of the Universe. The baseline design consists of 1024 fibers, deployable over a field-of-view of ˜500 sq. arcmin, the largest patrol field offered by the Nasmyth focus at the VLT. The total wavelength coverage is 0.64 μm - 1.8 μm with two spectral resolving power settings: in the medium-resolution mode (R˜4,000-6,000) the entire wavelength range is observed simultaneously, while the high-resolution mode will cover simultaneously selected sub-regions: one region with R˜9,000 near the Ca II triplet to measure stellar radial velocities, and part of the H-band at R˜20,000 for precision measurements of chemical abundances.

  11. Cosmic Origins Spectrograph: Flat Fields And Signal-to-noise Characteristics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sahnow, David J.; Ake, T.; Burgh, E.; France, K.; Penton, S.; McPhate, J.; Keyes, C.; STScI COS Team; COS IDT Team

    2010-01-01

    The Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS) employs different microchannel plate detectors for its two channels: a cross delay line (XDL) for the FUV, and a multi-anode microchannel array (MAMA) for the NUV. These detectors show non-uniformities due to the intrinsic `chicken wire’ and moiré patterns of the microchannel plates, dead spots, hot regions, and for the XDL, shadowing by QE grid wires. Signal-to-noise (S/N) improvements can be achieved by applying a high-quality flat field during data reduction. For the highest S/N, multiple exposures can be taken using the FP-POS technique, where spectra are stepped to different locations on the detector. During the COS Servicing Mission Observatory Verification (SMOV) program, observations of bright astronomical targets and an internal deuterium lamp were made in both channels to investigate methodologies to improve the S/N of on-orbit observations. For the NUV channel, flat field exposures were obtained with the onboard lamp. Comparisons of the data with a flat field constructed from prelaunch data indicate that there have been no changes, so a high S/N flat has been built by combining ground and flight data. Analysis indicates that S/N = 100 per pixel is achievable using flat fielding alone. For the FUV channel, which does not have a ground flat of such high quality, exposures were obtained of white dwarfs at various cross-dispersion locations on the detector. Comparisons of different reduction techniques for this data set will be presented. Until high-quality flat fields are implemented in standard pipeline processing, high S/N spectra are best achieved by the FP-POS technique, which has demonstrated S/N of > 50 per resolution element.

  12. Sociological Profile of Astronomers in Spain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iglesias de Ussel, Julio; Trinidad, Antonio; Ruiz, Diego; Battaner, Eduardo; Delgado, Antonio J.; Rodriguez-Espinosa, José M.; Salvador-Solé, Eduard; Torrelles, José M.

    In this paper the main findings are presented of a recent study made by a team of sociologists from the University of Granada on the professional astronomers currently working in Spain. Despite the peculiarities of this group - its youth, twentyfold increase in size over the last 20 years, and extremely high rate of specialization abroad - in comparison with other Spanish professionals, this is the first time that the sociological characteristics of the group have been studied discretely. The most significant results of the study are presented in the following sections. Section 1 gives a brief historical background of the development of Astronomy in Spain. Section 2 analyzes the socio-demographic profile of Spanish Astronomy professionals (sex, age, marital status, etc.). Sections 3-5 are devoted to the college education and study programs followed by Spanish astronomers, focusing on the features and evaluations of the training received, and pre- and postdoctoral study trips made to research centers abroad. The results for the latter clearly show the importance that Spanish astronomers place on having experience abroad. Special attention is paid to scientific papers published as a result of joint research projects carried out with colleagues from centers abroad as a result of these study trips. Section 6 describes the situation of Astronomy professionals within the Spanish job market, the different positions available and the time taken to find a job after graduation. Section 7 examines Astronomy as a discipline in Spain, including the astronomers' own opinions of the social status of the discipline within Spanish society. Particular attention is paid to how Spanish astronomers view the status of Astronomy in Spain in comparison with that of other European countries.

  13. Sociological profile of astronomers in Spain.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Ussel, J. I.; Trinidad, A.; Ruíz, D.; Battaner, E.; Delgado, A. J.; Rodríguez-Espinosa, J. M.; Salvador-Solé, E.; Torrelles, J. M.

    In this paper the main findings are presented of a recent study made by a team of sociologists from the University of Granada on the professional astronomers currently working in Spain. Despite the peculiarities of this group - its youth, twentyfold increase in size over the last 20 years, and extremely high rate of specialization abroad - in comparison with other Spanish professionals, this is the first time that the sociological characteristics of the group have been studied discretely. The most significant results of the study are presented in the following sections. Section 1 gives a brief historical background of the development of astronomy in Spain. Section 2 analyzes the socio-demographic profile of Spanish astronomy professionals (sex, age, marital status, etc.). Sections 3-5 are devoted to the college education and study programs followed by Spanish astronomers, focusing on the features and evaluations of the training received, and pre- and postdoctoral study trips made to research centers abroad. The results for the latter clearly show the importance that Spanish astronomers place on having experience abroad. Special attention is paid to scientific papers published as a result of joint research projects carried out with colleagues from centers abroad as a result of these study trips. Section 6 describes the situation of astronomy professionals within the Spanish job market, the different positions available and the time taken to find a job after graduation. Section 7 examines astronomy as a discipline in Spain, including the astronomers' own opinions of the social status of the discipline within Spanish society. Particular attention is paid to how Spanish astronomers view the status of astronomy in Spain in comparison with that of other European countries.

  14. Astronomical imaging with InSb arrays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pipher, Judith L.

    Ten years ago, Forrest presented the first astronomical images with a Santa Barbara Research Center (SBRC) 32 x 32 InSb array camera at the first NASA-Ames Infrared Detector Technology Work-shop. Soon after, SBRC began development of 58 x 62 InSb arrays, both for ground-based astronomy and for the Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF). By the time of the 1987 Hilo workshop 'Ground-based Astronomical Observations with Infrared Array Dectectors' astronomical results from cameras based on SBRC 32 x 32 and 58 x 62 InSb arrays, a CE linear InSb array, and a French 32 x 32 InSb charge injection device (CID) array were presented. And at the Tucson 1990 meeting 'Astrophysics with Infrared Arrays', it was clear that this new technology was no longer the province of 'IR pundits', but provided a tool for all astronomers. At this meeting, the first astronomical observations with SBRC's new, gateless passivation 256 x 256 InSb arrays will be presented: they perform spectacularly] In this review, I can only broadly brush on the interesting science completed with InSb array cameras. Because of the broad wavelength coverage (1-5.5 micrometer) of InSb, and the extremely high performance levels throughout the band, InSb cameras are used not only in the near IR, but also from 3-5.5 micrometer, where unique science is achieved. For example, the point-like central engines of active galactic nuclei (AGN) are delineated at L' and M', and Bra and 3.29 micrometer dust emission images of galactic and extragalactic objects yield excitation conditions. Examples of imaging spectroscopy, high spatial resolution imaging, as well as deep, broad-band imaging with InSb cameras at this meeting illustrate the power of InSb array cameras.

  15. The CALIFA Survey: Calibration Plan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Husemann, B.; Sánchez, S. F.; Falcón-Barroso, J.; Mast, D.; García-Benito, R.; Califa Collaboration

    2016-05-01

    The currently ongoing Calar Alto Legacy Integral Field Area (CALIFA) survey is aimed to observe ˜600 galaxies in the local Universe (0.005calibration of the data, focussing on the spectrophotometry and astrometry. Error estimation is always needed for a proper interpretation of astronomical data, so CALIFA will provide proper errors associated with the data. However, all CALIFA users need to be aware of the correlated noise that is unavoidable present in the data as we highlight at the end. We find that the overall quality of the data is excellent for all the core CALIFA science goals, but we are already prepared to increase the accuracy even more for future data releases.

  16. Astronomical Data Center Bulletin, volume 1, number 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nagy, T. A.; Warren, W. H., Jr.; Mead, J. M.

    1981-01-01

    Work in progress on astronomical catalogs is presented in 16 papers. Topics cover astronomical data center operations; automatic astronomical data retrieval at GSFC; interactive computer reference search of astronomical literature 1950-1976; formatting, checking, and documenting machine-readable catalogs; interactive catalog of UV, optical, and HI data for 201 Virgo cluster galaxies; machine-readable version of the general catalog of variable stars, third edition; galactic latitude and magnitude distribution of two astronomical catalogs; the catalog of open star clusters; infrared astronomical data base and catalog of infrared observations; the Air Force geophysics laboratory; revised magnetic tape of the N30 catalog of 5,268 standard stars; positional correlation of the two-micron sky survey and Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory catalog sources; search capabilities for the catalog of stellar identifications (CSI) 1979 version; CSI statistics: blue magnitude versus spectral type; catalogs available from the Astronomical Data Center; and status report on machine-readable astronomical catalogs.

  17. New Life for Astronomical Instruments of the Past at the Astronomical Observatory of Taras Shevchenko

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kazantseva, Liliya

    2012-09-01

    Astronomical instruments of the past are certainly valuable artifacts of the history of science and education. Like other collections of scientific equipment, they also demonstrate i) development of scientific and technical ideas, ii) technological features of the historical period, iii) professional features of artists or companies -- manufacturers, and iv) national and local specificity of production. However, astronomical instruments are also devices made for observations of rare phenomena -- solar eclipses, transits of planets of the solar disk, etc. Instruments used to study these rare events were very different for each event, since the science changed quickly between events. The Astronomical Observatory of Kyiv National Taras Shevchenko University has a collection of tools made by leading European and local shops from the early nineteenth century. These include tools for optically observing the first artificial Earth satellites, photography, chronometry, and meteorology. In addition, it has assembled a library of descriptions of astronomical instruments and makers'price-lists. Of particular interest are the large stationary tools that are still active in their pavilions. Almost every instrument has a long interesting history. Museification of astronomical instruments gives them a second life, expanding educational programs and tracing the development of astronomy in general and scientific institution and region in particular. It would be advisable to first create a regional database of these rare astronomical instruments (which is already being done in Ukraine), then a common global database. By combining all the historical information about astronomical instruments with the advantages of the Internet, you can show the full evolution of an astronomical instrument with all its features. Time is relentless, and much is destroyed, badly kept and thrown in the garbage. We need time to protect, capture, and tell about it.

  18. [Calibration Procedure of Laser Confocal Micro-Raman Spectrometer].

    PubMed

    Zhao, Ying-chun; Ren, Ling-ling; Wei, Wei-sheng; Yao, Ya-xuan

    2015-09-01

    As a common spectral characterization technique, Raman spectroscopy is widely used and has a specified calibration procedure. Based on laser confocal micro-Raman spectrometer, in this paper, we briefly introduced the principle, configuration and main components of Raman spectrometer. In addition, the calibration procedures were also presented, with an emphasis on the calibration of spectrometer (spectrograph) and that of excitation laser wavelength. On the basis of conventional calibration method, a novel and more accurate method was proposed to obtain the actual excitation wavelength, that is, calibration at the point of Raman shift Δν=0. Using this novel calibration method of excitation wavelength, Raman frequency shift values of sulfur were measured, and compared with the standard values from American Society Testing and Materials (ASTM). As a result, the measured values after calibration were consistent with those ASTM values, which indicated that the calibration method is accurate. Thus, a more reasonable calibration procedure of the laser confocal micro-Raman spectrometer was provided. PMID:26669164

  19. [Calibration Procedure of Laser Confocal Micro-Raman Spectrometer].

    PubMed

    Zhao, Ying-chun; Ren, Ling-ling; Wei, Wei-sheng; Yao, Ya-xuan

    2015-09-01

    As a common spectral characterization technique, Raman spectroscopy is widely used and has a specified calibration procedure. Based on laser confocal micro-Raman spectrometer, in this paper, we briefly introduced the principle, configuration and main components of Raman spectrometer. In addition, the calibration procedures were also presented, with an emphasis on the calibration of spectrometer (spectrograph) and that of excitation laser wavelength. On the basis of conventional calibration method, a novel and more accurate method was proposed to obtain the actual excitation wavelength, that is, calibration at the point of Raman shift Δν=0. Using this novel calibration method of excitation wavelength, Raman frequency shift values of sulfur were measured, and compared with the standard values from American Society Testing and Materials (ASTM). As a result, the measured values after calibration were consistent with those ASTM values, which indicated that the calibration method is accurate. Thus, a more reasonable calibration procedure of the laser confocal micro-Raman spectrometer was provided.

  20. The Fine-Structure Constant and Wavelength Calibration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Whitmore, Jonathan

    The fine-structure constant is a fundamental constant of the universe--and widely thought to have an unchanging value. However, the past decade has witnessed a controversy unfold over the claimed detection that the fine-structure constant had a different value in the distant past. These astrophysical measurements were made with spectrographs at the world's largest optical telescopes. The spectrographs make precise measurements of the wavelength spacing of absorption lines in the metals in the gas between the quasar background source and our telescopes on Earth. The wavelength spacing gives a snapshot of the atomic physics at the time of the interaction. Whether the fine-structure constant has changed is determined by comparing the atomic physics in the distant past with the atomic physics of today. We present our contribution to the discussion by analyzing three nights data taken with the HIRES instrument (High Resolution Echelle Spectrograph) on the Keck telescope. We provide an independent measurement on the fine-structure constant from the Damped Lyman alpha system at a redshift of z =2.309 (10.8 billion years ago) quasar PHL957. We developed a new method for calibrating the wavelength scale of a quasar exposure to a much higher precision than previously achieved. In our subsequent analysis, we discovered unexpected wavelength calibration errors that has not been taken into account in the previously reported measurements. After characterizing the wavelength miscalibrations on the Keck-HIRES instrument, we obtained several nights of data from the main competing instrument, the VLT (Very Large Telescope) with UVES (Ultraviolet and Visual Echelle Spectrograph). We applied our new wavelength calibration method and uncovered similar in nature systematic errors as found on Keck-HIRES. Finally, we make a detailed Monte Carlo exploration of the effects that these miscalibrations have on making precision fine-structure constant measurements.

  1. Astronomical Observing Conditions at Xinglong Observatory from 2007 to 2014

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Ji-Cheng; Ge, Liang; Lu, Xiao-Meng; Cao, Zi-Huang; Chen, Xu; Mao, Yong-Na; Jiang, Xiao-Jun

    2015-12-01

    Xinglong Observatory of the National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC), is one of the major optical observatories in China, which hosts nine optical telescopes including the Large Sky Area Multi-Object Fiber Spectroscopic Telescope (LAMOST) and the 2.16 m reflector. Scientific research from these telescopes is focused on stars, galaxies, and exoplanets using multicolor photometry and spectroscopic observations. Therefore, it is important to provide the observing conditions of the site, in detail, to the astronomers for an efficient use of these facilities. In this article, we present the characterization of observing conditions at Xinglong Observatory based on the monitoring of meteorology, seeing and sky brightness during the period from 2007 to 2014. Meteorological data were collected from a commercial Automatic Weather Station (AWS), calibrated by China Meteorological Administration. Mean and median wind speed are almost constant during the period analyzed and ranged from 1.0 to 3.5 m s-1. However, high wind speed (>=15 m s-1) interrupts observations, mainly, during the winter and spring. Statistical analysis of air temperature showed the temperature difference between daytime and nighttime, which can be solved by opening the ventilation device and the slit of the dome at least 1 hr before observations. Analysis resulted in average percentage of photometric nights and spectroscopic nights are 32% and 63% per year, respectively. The distribution of photometric nights and spectroscopic nights has a significant seasonal tendency, worse in summer due to clouds, dust, and high humidity. Seeing measurements were obtained using the Differential Image Motion Monitor (DIMM). Mean and median values of seeing over 1 year are around 1.9'' and 1.7'', respectively. Eighty percent of nights with seeing values are below 2.6'', whereas the distribution peaks around 1.8''. The measurements of sky brightness are acquired from the Sky Quality Meter (SQM

  2. Self-calibration approach for optical long-baseline interferometry imaging.

    PubMed

    Meimon, Serge; Mugnier, Laurent M; Le Besnerais, Guy

    2009-01-01

    Current optical interferometers are affected by unknown turbulent phases on each telescope. In the field of radio interferometry, the self-calibration technique is a powerful tool to process interferometric data with missing phase information. This paper intends to revisit the application of self-calibration to optical long-baseline interferometry (OLBI). We cast rigorously the OLBI data processing problem into the self-calibration framework and demonstrate the efficiency of the method on a real astronomical OLBI data set. PMID:19109607

  3. The Hobby-Eberly Telescope Low Resolution Spectrograph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hill, G. J.; MacQueen, P. J.; Nicklas, H.; Cobos D., F. J.; Tejada, C.; Mitsch, W.; Wolf, M. J.

    1998-12-01

    The Hobby-Eberly Telescope (HET) is a revolutionary large telescope of 9.2 meter aperture, located in West Texas at McDonald Observatory. First light was obtained on December 11, 1996. Scientific operations are expected in the spring of 1999. The Low Resolution Spectrograph (LRS, an international collaboration between Texas, UNAM, Stanford, Munich and Goettingen) is a high throughput, imaging spectrograph which rides on the HET tracker at prime focus. The LRS will be the first HET facility instrument. The remote location and tight space and weight constraints make the LRS a challenging instrument, built on a limited budget. The optics were partially constructed in Mexico at IAUNAM, the mechanics in Germany, and the camera and CCD system in Texas. The LRS is a grism spectrograph with a number of modes of operation: imaging, longslit, and multi-object. The field of view from the HET is 4-arcminutes in diameter, and the LRS will have a 13-slitlet Multi Object Spectroscopy (MOS) unit covering this field. The MOS unit is described in a separate paper. Resolutions between lambda / {delta lambda } = 500 and 3000 with a 1-arcsec. wide slit will be achieved with a variety of grisms, of which two can be carried by the instrument at any one time. The CCD is a Ford Aerospace 1024x3096 device with 15 micron pixels, and the image scale is approximately 0.25 arcsec. per pixel. We will present a detailed description of the LRS, and provide an overview of the optical and mechanical aspects of its design. Fabrication and assembly of the LRS will be completed by the end of 1998. First light on the HET is expected shortly thereafter.

  4. CAFE: Calar Alto Fiber-fed Échelle spectrograph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aceituno, J.; Sánchez, S. F.; Grupp, F.; Lillo, J.; Hernán-Obispo, M.; Benitez, D.; Montoya, L. M.; Thiele, U.; Pedraz, S.; Barrado, D.; Dreizler, S.; Bean, J.

    2013-04-01

    We present here CAFE, the Calar Alto Fiber-fed Échelle spectrograph, a new instrument built at the Centro Astronomico Hispano Alemán (CAHA). CAFE is a single-fiber, high-resolution (R ~ 70 000) spectrograph, covering the wavelength range between 3650-9800 Å. It was built on the basis of the common design for Échelle spectrographs. Its main aim is to measure radial velocities of stellar objects up to V ~ 13-14 mag with a precision as good as a few tens of m s-1. To achieve this goal the design was simplified at maximum, removing all possible movable components, the central wavelength is fixed, as is the wavelength coverage; there is no filter wheel, etc. Particular care was taken with the thermal and mechanical stability. The instrument is fully operational and publically accessible at the 2.2 m telescope of the Calar Alto Observatory. In this article we describe (i) the design, summarizing its manufacturing phase; (ii) characterize the main properties of the instrument; (iii) describe the reduction pipeline; and (iv) show the results from the first light and commissioning runs. The preliminar results indicate that the instrument fulfills the specifications and can achieve the planned goals. In particular, the results show that the instrument is more efficient than anticipated, reaching a signal-to-noise of ~20 for a stellar object as faint as V ~ 14.5 mag in ~2700 s integration time. The instrument is a wonderful machine for exoplanetary research (by studying large samples of possible systems cotaining massive planets), galactic dynamics (highly precise radial velocities in moving groups or stellar associations), or astrochemistry.

  5. The 1997 HST Calibration Workshop with a New Generation of Instruments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Casertano, S. (Editor); Jedrzejewski, R. (Editor); Keyes, T. (Editor); Stevens, M. (Editor)

    1997-01-01

    The Second Servicing mission in early 1997 has brought major changes to the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). Two of the original instruments, Faint Object Spectrograph (FOS) and Goddard High Resolution Spectrograph (GHRS), were taken out, and replaced by completely new instruments, the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) and the Near Infrared Camera Multi-Object Spectrograph (NICMOS). Two new types of detectors were installed, and for the first time, HST gained infrared capabilities. A new Fine Guidance Sensor (FGS) was installed, with an alignment mechanism that could improve substantially both guiding and astrometric capabilities. With all these changes come new challenges. The characterization of the new instruments has required a major effort, both by their respective Investigation Definition Teams and at the Space Telescope Science Institute. All necessary final calibrations for the retired spectrographs needed to be carried out, and their properties definitively characterized. At the same time, work has continued to improve our understanding of the instruments that have remained on board. The results of these activities were discussed in the 1997 HST (Hubble Space Telescope) Calibration Workshop. The main focus of the Workshop was to provide users with the tools and the understanding they need to use HST's instruments and archival data to the best of their possibilities. This book contains the written record of the Workshop. As such, it should provide a valuable tool to all interested in using existing HST data or in proposing for new observations.

  6. Design of the KOSMOS oil-coupled spectrograph camera lenses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Brien, Thomas P.; Derwent, Mark; Martini, Paul; Poczulp, Gary

    2014-07-01

    We present the design details of oil-coupled lens groups used in the KOSMOS spectrograph camera. The oil-coupled groups use silicone rubber O-rings in a unique way to accurately center lens elements with high radial and axial stiffness while also allowing easy assembly. The O-rings robustly seal the oil within the lens gaps to prevent oil migration. The design of an expansion diaphragm to compensate for differential expansion due to temperature changes is described. The issues of lens assembly, lens gap shimming, oil filling and draining, bubble mitigation, material compatibility, mechanical inspection, and optical testing are discussed.

  7. CCD readout electronics for the Subaru Prime Focus Spectrograph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hope, Stephen C.; Gunn, James E.; Loomis, Craig P.; Fitzgerald, Roger E.; Peacock, Grant O.

    2014-07-01

    The following paper details the design for the CCD readout electronics for the Subaru Telescope Prime Focus Spectrograph (PFS). PFS is designed to gather spectra from 2394 objects simultaneously, covering wavelengths that extend from 380 nm to 1260 nm. The spectrograph is comprised of four identical spectrograph modules, each collecting roughly 600 spectra. The spectrograph modules provide simultaneous wavelength coverage over the entire band through the use of three separate optical channels: blue, red, and near infrared (NIR). A camera in each channel images the multi-object spectra onto a 4k × 4k, 15 μm pixel, detector format. The two visible cameras use a pair of Hamamatsu 2k × 4k CCDs with readout provided by custom electronics, while the NIR camera uses a single Teledyne HgCdTe 4k × 4k detector and Teledyne's ASIC Sidecar to read the device. The CCD readout system is a custom design comprised of three electrical subsystems - the Back End Electronics (BEE), the Front End Electronics (FEE), and a Pre-amplifier. The BEE is an off-the-shelf PC104 computer, with an auxiliary Xilinx FPGA module. The computer serves as the main interface to the Subaru messaging hub and controls other peripheral devices associated with the camera, while the FPGA is used to generate the necessary clocks and transfer image data from the CCDs. The FEE board sets clock biases, substrate bias, and CDS offsets. It also monitors bias voltages, offset voltages, power rail voltage, substrate voltage and CCD temperature. The board translates LVDS clock signals to biased clocks and returns digitized analog data via LVDS. Monitoring and control messages are sent from the BEE to the FEE using a standard serial interface. The Pre-amplifier board resides behind the detectors and acts as an interface to the two Hamamatsu CCDs. The Pre-amplifier passes clocks and biases to the CCDs, and analog CCD data is buffered and amplified prior to being returned to the FEE. In this paper we describe the

  8. Spectrographic studies: Electron induced luminescence in optical materials

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Romanko, J.; Miles, J. K.; Cheever, P. R.

    1971-01-01

    The spectral luminescence induced in UV grade sapphire, MgF2 and LiF2, three fused silicas, and three Corning glasses, by 1/2, 1, 2, and 3 MeV electrons was recorded. In the wavelength range from the LiF UV cutoff to the near visible, a plane-grating spectrograph with photographic recording at resolutions of 0.8 and 1.6 nm was utilized. Qualitative results based on relative density tracings of seven of the nine materials obtained from preliminary plates are given.

  9. Working model of a gossamer membrane spectrographic space telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ditto, Thomas D.; Ritter, Joe; Valliant, John

    2009-08-01

    The nineteenth century Fraunhofer primary objective grating (POG) telescope has been redesigned with a secondary spectrometer. The POG is embossed on a membrane and placed at an angle of grazing exodus relative to a conventional spectrographic telescope. The result is a new type of telescope that disambiguates overlapping spectra and can capture spectral flux from all objects over its free spectral range, nearly 40°. For space deployment, the ribbon-shaped membrane can be stowed as a cylinder under a rocket fairing for launch and deployed in space from a cylindrical drum. Any length up to kilometer scale could be contemplated.

  10. Two-Dimensional Spectroscopy with the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Penton, Steven V.; Sahnow, D.; France, K.

    2011-05-01

    The circular aperture of HSTs' Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS) is 2.5" in diameter, but transmission extends out to a 4" diameter. The NUV MAMA and the FUV microchannel plates image the sky over the full extent of the transmission. The cross-dispersion plate scale of the NUV channel is 0.02" and is 0.1" for the FUV channel. In this presentation we will discuss the capabilities and limitations of performing two-dimensional spectroscopy, in the cross-dispersion direction, with COS. In particular, we will discuss FUV detector effects, such as fixed pattern noise, gain sag, and Y walk, and the latest techniques for their correction.

  11. Biographies and Portraits of British and Other Astronomers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hingley, Peter; Chibnall, Mary I.; Howarth, Ian; Lane, John; Mitton, Jacqueline; Penston, Margaret; Ridpath, Ian; Murdin, Paul

    2013-01-01

    This paper originated as a document intended to serve as a general guide to the sources of biographies and portraits of astronomers for historians of astronomy and other researchers, particularly British astronomers. It was first compiled by the Librarian of the Royal Astronomical Society, Peter Hingley (1921-2012).

  12. Public perception of astronomers Revered, reviled and ridiculed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    West, Michael J.

    2011-06-01

    Society's view of astronomers has changed over time and from culture to culture. This review discusses some of the many ways that astronomers have been perceived by their societies and suggests ways that astronomers can influence public perception of ourselves and our profession in the future.

  13. Development and Flight-testing of Astronomical Instrumentation for Future NASA Astrophysics Missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    France, Kevin

    We propose a four year suborbital research program to continue the University of Colorado's efforts in the development and flight testing of instrument designs and critical path technologies for ultraviolet spectroscopy in support of future NASA Explorer, Probe-, and Flagship-class missions. This proposal builds on our existing program of high-resolution spectroscopy for the 100 - 160 nm bandpass with the development of a new high-efficiency imaging spectrograph operating in the same band. The ultimate goal of the University of Colorado ultraviolet rocket program is to develop the technical capabilities to enable a future, highly multiplexed ultraviolet spectrograph (with both high-resolution and imaging spectroscopy modes), e.g., an analog to the successful HST-STIS instrument, with an order-of-magnitude higher efficiency. We do this in the framework of a university led program where undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral training is paramount and cutting edge science investigations support our baseline technology development program. In the proposed effort, we will optimize our high-resolution (R > 100,000) echelle spectrograph payload (CHESS) with the first science flight of a new, large-format CCD array provided by our collaborators at JPL and Arizona State University. We will launch CHESS to study our local interstellar environment with spectral resolving power and bandpass that cannot be achieved with any suite of current or planned space missions. In parallel with the proposed science flights of CHESS, we will design, calibrate, and launch a new high-throughput imaging spectrograph (SISTINE); the first sub-arcsecond imaging, medium spectral resolution (R = 10,000), spectrograph ever flown with spectral coverage over the entire 100 - 160 nm bandpass. SISTINE incorporates several novel optical technologies that were highlighted as major hardware drivers for NASA's next large ultraviolet/optical/near-IR observatory by the 2014 Cosmic Origins Technology

  14. The STELLA échelle spectrograph, five years of robotic high-resolution spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weber, M.; Strassmeier, K. G.; Granzer, T.

    The STELLA robotic observatory is made up of two 1.2m telescopes. One is feeding an échelle spectrograph with a spectral resolution of 55,000 since 2006, the other is equipped with an imaging instrument with a field of view of 22'. Data are collected during every clear night, calibration data are also taken during bad weather periods to assure the functionality of the system. All CCD frames are stored locally and immediately queued for transfer to the AIP. All environmental data together with meta-data about the scientific observations are stored in a SQL database, which is replicated to our data center in Potsdam. Data reduction is started after each observing night, results of the post-reduction analysis, like radial velocity and stellar parameters, along with the reduced spectra are inserted into the database. This database, with information spanning from how often a target is picked, when it has been successfully acquired, how big were the guiding errors, all the way to radial velocities measurements is an essential tool for both data analysis and quality control.

  15. Imaging Spectrograph as a Tool to Enhance the Undergraduate Student Research Experience

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, B.; Nielsen, K.; Johnson, S.

    2015-12-01

    Undergraduate students often engage in research activities that are part of a larger project outlined by research faculty, while it is less common for students to explore and define their own research project. The later has been shown to have tremendous impact on the learning outcome of the students and provide a stronger sense of pride and ownership of the research project. It is unrealistic to expect starting undergraduate students to define transformative research projects. However, with the proper training and guidance student-driven transformative research is possible for upper division students. We have instituted a student research paradigm with focus on the development of student research skills in coordination with their course progress. We present here a specific student project that engage students in aeronomy research activities and provide them with a solid base to establish their own research projects for senior year. The core of the project is an imaging spectrograph, which is constructed, tested, and calibrated by the students. The instrument provides unique opportunities student research projects across subject such as optics, quantum mechanics, and how these subjects are applied in the geosciences of aeronomy and space physics.

  16. Virtual MOONS: a focal plane simulator for the MOONS thousand-fiber NIR spectrograph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li Causi, G.; Cabral, A.; Ferruzzi, Debora; Finger, G.; Giacalone, G.; Guinouard, I.; Lorenzetti, D.; Oliva, E.; Pedichini, F.; Royer, F.; Todd, S.; Vitali, F.

    2014-08-01

    MOONS will be the next near infrared fiber fed multi-object spectrograph for the Very Large Telescope, that will offer a one thousand multiplexing capability and a simultaneous coverage of the wavelength range from 0.8 to 1.8 μm. With the aim of quantitatively i) assessing the instrument performances with respect to sensitivity and OH subtraction, ii) blind-testing the 1D spectra extraction and calibration, provided by the data reduction pipeline, and iii) testing the technical solutions adopted for reaching the outstanding instrument requirements, we have developed "Virtual MOONS", an end-to-end software simulator, which quantitatively computes high fidelity focal plane raw images, emulating the output of the detector electronics. Starting from an ideal photon image derived from the geometrical optics propagation and Point Spread Function (PSF) variations computed by the ZEMAX optical design, the end-to-end optical budget is introduced along with the stray light contributions, resulting in the expected photon counts impinging the detector pixels. Then the photon image plus photon noise is converted to digital counts by means of a detailed detector simulation, including pixel-to-pixel response variation, dark, bias, read-out noise, cosmetics, charge diffusion, flatness and read-out schemes. Critical points like fiber differential response, PSF haloes and sky emission variations have been also taken into account. The current status of this work is presented with an example simulated image and numerical results.

  17. Multi-purpose grating spectrograph for the 4-meter European Solar Telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Calcines, A.; Collados, M.; Feller, A.; Gelly, B.; Grauf, B.; Hirzberger, J.; López Ariste, A.; Lopez, R. L.; Mein, P.; Sayéde, F.

    2012-09-01

    This communication presents a family of spectrographs designed for the European Solar Telescope. They can operate in four different configurations: a long slit standard spectrograph (LsSS), two devices based on subtractive double pass (TUNIS and MSDP) and one based on an integral field, multi-slit, multi-wavelength configuration. The combination of them composes the multi-purpose grating spectrograph of EST, focused on supporting the different science cases of the solar photosphere and chromosphere in the spectral range from 3900 Å to 23000 Å. The different alternatives are made compatible by using the same base spectrographs and different selectable optical elements corresponding to specific subsystems of each configuration.

  18. EMIR: cryogenic NIR multi-object spectrograph for GTC

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balcells, Marc; Guzman, R.; Patron, J.; Aragon-Salamanca, Alfonso; Azcue, J.; Ballester Lluch, Jose A.; Barroso, M. T.; Beigbeder, F.; Brau-Nogue, S.; Cardiel, N.; Carter, Dave; Diaz-Garcia, Jose J.; de la Fuente, E.; Fuentes, F. Javier; Fragoso-Lopez, Ana B.; Gago, Fernando; Gallego, J.; Gomez-Elvira, J.; Heredero, J. C.; Jones, Damien J.; Lopez, J. C.; Luke, P.; Manescau, Antonio; Munoz, T.; Peletier, R. F.; Pello, R.; Picat, Jean P.; Robertson, David J.; Rodriguez, J. A.; Serrano, Angel; Sharples, Ray M.; Zamorano, J.

    2000-08-01

    EMIR is a near-IR, multi-slit camera-spectrograph under development for the 10m GTC on La Palma. It will deliver up to 45 independent R equals 3500-4000 spectra of sources over a field of view of 6 feet by 3 feet, and allow NIR imaging over a 6 foot by 6 foot FOV, with spatial sampling of 0.175 inch/pixel. The prime science goal of the instrument is to open K-band, wide field multi-object spectroscopy on 10m class telescopes. Science applications range from the study of star-forming galaxies beyond z equals 2, to observations of substellar objects and dust-enshrouded star formation regions. Main technological challenges include the large optics, the mechanical and thermal stability and the need to implement a mask exchange mechanism that does not require warming up the spectrograph. EMIR is begin developed by the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias, the Instituto Nacional de Tecnica Aeroespacial, the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, the Observatoire Midi-Pyrennees, and the University of Durham. Currently in its Preliminary Design phase, EMIR is expected to start science operation in 2004.

  19. MSE spectrograph optical design: a novel pupil slicing technique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spanò, P.

    2014-07-01

    The Maunakea Spectroscopic Explorer shall be mainly devoted to perform deep, wide-field, spectroscopic surveys at spectral resolutions from ~2000 to ~20000, at visible and near-infrared wavelengths. Simultaneous spectral coverage at low resolution is required, while at high resolution only selected windows can be covered. Moreover, very high multiplexing (3200 objects) must be obtained at low resolution. At higher resolutions a decreased number of objects (~800) can be observed. To meet such high demanding requirements, a fiber-fed multi-object spectrograph concept has been designed by pupil-slicing the collimated beam, followed by multiple dispersive and camera optics. Different resolution modes are obtained by introducing anamorphic lenslets in front of the fiber arrays. The spectrograph is able to switch between three resolution modes (2000, 6500, 20000) by removing the anamorphic lenses and exchanging gratings. Camera lenses are fixed in place to increase stability. To enhance throughput, VPH first-order gratings has been preferred over echelle gratings. Moreover, throughput is kept high over all wavelength ranges by splitting light into more arms by dichroic beamsplitters and optimizing efficiency for each channel by proper selection of glass materials, coatings, and grating parameters.

  20. Astrophotonic micro-spectrographs in the era of ELTs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blind, N.; Le Coarer, E.; Kern, P.; Bland-Hawthorn, J.

    2014-08-01

    The next generation of Extremely Large Telescopes (ELT), with diameters up to 39 meters, will start opera- tion in the next decade and promises new challenges in the development of instruments. The growing field of astrophotonics (the use of photonic technologies in astronomy) can partly solve this problem by allowing mass production of fully integrated and robust instruments combining various optical functions, with the potential to reduce the size, complexity and cost of instruments. In this paper, we focus on developments in integrated micro-spectrographs and their potential for ELTs. We take an inventory of the identified technologies currently in development, and compare the performance of the different concepts. We show that in the current context of single-mode instruments, integrated spectrographs making use of, e.g., a photonic lantern can be a solution to reach the desired performance. However, in the longer term, there is a clear need to develop multimode devices to improve overall the throughput and sensitivity, while decreasing the instrument complexity.