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Proceedings Paper

First light of the 1.6 meter off-axis New Solar Telescope at Big Bear Solar Observatory
Author(s): Wenda Cao; Nicolas Gorceix; Roy Coulter; Aaron Coulter; Philip R. Goode
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Paper Abstract

New Jersey Institute of Technology, in collaboration with the University of Hawaii and the Korea Astronomy & Space Science Institute, has successfully developed and installed a 1.6 m clear aperture, off-axis New Solar Telescope (NST) at the Big Bear Solar Observatory. The NST will be the largest aperture solar telescope in the world until the 4 m Advanced Technology Solar Telescope (ATST) and 4 m European Solar Telescope (EST) begin operation in the next decade. Meanwhile, the NST will be the largest off-axis telescope before the 8.4 m segmented Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) comes on-line. The NST is configured as an off-axis Gregorian system consisting of a parabolic primary, prime focus field stop and heat reflector, elliptical secondary and diagonal flats. The primary mirror is made of Zerodur from Schott and figured to a final residual error of 16 nm rms by Steward Observatory Mirror Lab. The final focal ratio is f/52. The 180 circular opening in the field stop defines the maximal square field-of-view. The working wavelength range will cover 0.4 to 1.7 μm in the Coud´e Lab two floors beneath the telescope, and all wavelengths including far infrared at the Nasmyth focus on an optical bench attached to the side of the telescope structure. First-light scientific observations have been attained at the Nasmyth focus and in the Coud´e Lab. This paper presents a detailed description of installation and alignment of the NST. First-light observational results are also shown to demonstrate the validity of the NST optical alignment.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 August 2010
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 7733, Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes III, 773330 (6 August 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.856611
Show Author Affiliations
Wenda Cao, New Jersey Institute of Technology (United States)
Big Bear Solar Observatory (United States)
Nicolas Gorceix, Big Bear Solar Observatory (United States)
Roy Coulter, Big Bear Solar Observatory (United States)
Aaron Coulter, Big Bear Solar Observatory (United States)
Philip R. Goode, New Jersey Institute of Technology (United States)
Big Bear Solar Observatory (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7733:
Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes III
Larry M. Stepp; Roberto Gilmozzi; Helen J. Hall, Editor(s)

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