Telescopes at APOtyang | March 14, 2014
[Please be in touch with Tianyi Yang – firstname.lastname@example.org – and Beth Willman – email@example.com – if you are interested in higher resolution versions of these images. Image credit should be given to Tianyi Yang (Haverford College, Class of 2015).]
There are four telescopes in APO, the ARC 3.5m telescope, one remotely-operable 0.5m small aperture telescope called ARCSAT, one 1m telescope belonging to New Mexico State University, and the 2.5m Sloan Foundation telescope which is used for Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). All of our observations were done in the ARC 3.5m telescope, and here are some pictures of it.
The light in the dome is the bright quartz light that we used to do dome flats. When we observe the stars, all lights in the telescope should be turned off. Here is what the telescope looks like under long exposure. (We rotated the dome to aim at different objects.)
The ARC 3.5 m telescope carries a secret weapon: the Apollo system. This system can shoot a beam of laser pulses to the moon, and receive the light signal reflected by the mirrors placed by Apollo astronauts and Soviet Union rovers on the moon. Because the moon is extraordinarily bright, to observe only the laser coming back from the moon, scientists use the green laser and a narrow band green filter in the receiver to filter out the light of the moon. Here is what it like when Apollo is firing.
Now here are some pictures of the other telesopes. This is one of the two small aperture telescope. The two telescopes are in identical looking domes, but separated by around 10 meters.
And here are some pictures of the SDSS telescopes in the dark. The three people near the telescope are Christ, Kai and Eric.
In this picture, the shiny city is El Paso, and we can clearly see the light pollution caused by the city (although it looks pretty in the picture).
Finally, don’t forget the Solar telescope which is used to study the spectrum of the sun!
NSF AST-1151462, the KINSC, and the Green Fund provide support for our student trips to observatories.