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SynoPSIs -- PSIscope: a small-aperture robotic telescope for general PSI use

Wednesday, March 8, 2017
Jeff
Morgenthaler

With the support of a recently awarded 5-year NSF grant, I am
constructing the Io Input/Output (IoIO) facility for study of
Jupiter's magnetosphere.  IoIO consists of a 14-inch (35 cm) Celestron
Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope feeding a custom-built coronagraph.  An
Astro-Physics 1100 mount, 80mm offset guide scope, and associated
software enable the system to acquire and guide on solar system
targets robotically.  The telescope is hosted at the San Pedro
Observatory in Benson, AZ, 40 miles east of Tuscon.

While Jupiter is up (about 7 months of every 13), I'll be using the
'scope.  The rest of the time, I would be happy to see it used by PSI
scientists for their projects.  The coronagraph components are easily
converted into a standard imager with a 5-position filter wheel with
2-inch round filter slots.  In that configuration the Trius SX694 2750
x 2200 pixel CCD has 0.23 arcsec pixels.  And even while the
coronagraph is deployed, there is considerable observing time
available, since, integrated over an opposition, Jupiter is, on
average, only up 1/2 the night.  In that case, only the clear filter
slot would be available, the coronagraph reimaging optics increase the
pixel size to 0.55 arcsec, and there would be a 1.5 arcminute-wide
neutral density filter running down the center of the 25 arcminute
FOV.

People interested in using the telescope are encouraged to attend the
SynoPSIs and/or contact me by email.

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