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Applying for Observing Time -2009B

2009B:  1st May  2009 – 31th July 2009

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Apply through Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (here)

  • Deadline: NOON (EST) Tues 24th Feb, 2009

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Apply through University of Arizona Observatories (here)

Mt. Hopkins Road Closure - Feb. 2

Another section of Mt. Hopkins Road will have guardrails installed beginning Monday, February 2 around kilometer 4. 

Although the installation will be around km 4, a section between km 2.2 (by the astronomy vista) and km 4.2 will be closed.   There is room to turn around at these locations.

Road closures:  Monday through Friday
7:00 a.m. – 8:15 a.m.
8:45 a.m. – 12:00 noon
12:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

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: