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MMT Trimester Report

To read the MMT May – August ‘08 Trimester Summary Report, click here.

Megacam Manual Updated

The Megacam manual has been updated AND moved to a CfA wiki at:

Megacam Manual

Thanks to J. Bechtold, B. McLeod and D. Curley. We will continue to update the manual and always appreciate suggestions from Megacam observers.

Instrument Change Movie!

At the MMT we do a lot of juggling of our three secondary mirrors & our current suite of 13 instruments. Over the last couple of years we have become so efficient at doing secondary/instrument changes that it is a task that is normally never seen by the astronomers as everything is completed before they arrive at the telescope. To give you all a small insight into the effort it takes to reconfigure the telescope we have put together this little movie for your viewing pleasure.

Mysterious changes and weather seen on distant dwarf planet

Signs of Weather Seen on Dwarf Planet

Strange weather on the icy dwarf planet Eris could be causing changes that scientists are now seeing at the methane-ice surface of this distant object in our solar system.

A team of researchers examined data on Eris collected from the MMT Observatory in Arizona.  They specifically looked at concentrations of methane ice based on light-reflection and absorption information. 

CLIO imaging of Fomalhaut

CLIO Imaging of Fomalhaut: Thermal imaging observations of Fomalhaut using the Clio 3-5 micron camera.CLIO Imaging of Fomalhaut: Thermal imaging observations of Fomalhaut using the Clio 3-5 micron camera.

Last week high profile publications hit the news about the direct detections of exoplanets around two stars, Fomalhaut & HR8799 (see ‘Optical Images of an Exosolar Planet 25 Light Years from Earth’ Kalas et al and ‘Direct Imaging of Multiple Planets Orbiting the Star HR 8799′ Marois et al and all major news sites). 

The 'MMT and Magellan Infrared Spectrograph'

MMIRS is the next new instrument that will be arriving for commissioning at the MMT. The ‘MMT and Magellan InfraRed Spectrograph’ is a wide field near-IR imager and slit mask multi-object spectrograph being built by the team at the CfA led by Brian McLeod.  It has two basic operational modes:

IMAGING:

  • 7′ x 7′ FOV
  • 0.2″ pixels
  • Y, J, H & K wavelength coverage

SPECTROSCOPY:

Canoa Road Underpass Closure

Effective Monday, November 3, 2008.

The underpass at Canoa Road is scheduled to close for approximately 6 -7 weeks (until mid-December). Southbound drivers on I-19 will need to use the Arivaca exit (exit 48) and then double back north on the east frontage road to reach Elephant Head Road and continue on to the FLWO base camp.

Motorists heading north to Tucson on the east frontage road should still be able to access the1-19 northbound ramp.

 

Please contact Karen Erman-Myres at 520-670-5703 for more information if any questions.

 

Excellent results from recent LGS run...

The most recent run for the LGS team (10/13 – 10/17) proved incredibly successful, producing some very exciting results. Following is the key results and images supplied by Michael Lloyd-Hart and the LGS team.