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Proceedings Paper

The Scientific Potential Of The 15M National New Technology Telescope (NNTT)
Author(s): Roger L. Davies
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Paper Abstract

The proposed 15m NNTT offers a gain in collecting area over a 4m telescope of 14 and a gain in speed of up to 200. In this paper the types of problem where the gain in limiting flux is inversely proportional to area (D2-problems) and those in which the gain goes only as the diameter (D-problems) are identified. The performance of the NNTT is compared to a 4m telescope and to the Space Telescope in three configurations. The NNTT is shown to have a small advantage over the Space Telescope for spectroscopy of point sources even at low resolutions. For work on sources of diameter one arcsecond or greater the gains are ≈ a factor of 15. Even for the direct imaging of point sources the NNTT is only a little slower than the Space Telescope when there is no confusion. Three areas of astronomical investigation, studies of star formation, the Galactic halo and high redshift galaxies, are used to illustrate the impact a 15m telescope would make scientifically. These astronomical problems make substantial demands on the telescope performance and instrumentation. If these can be met the NNTT will lead to considerable advancement in the understanding of current problems and, given the order of magnitude improvement in infrared performance and spectroscopic capability, is likely to lead to the discovery of new phenomena.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 November 1983
PDF: 5 pages
Proc. SPIE 0444, Advanced Technology Optical Telescopes II, (3 November 1983); doi: 10.1117/12.937954
Show Author Affiliations
Roger L. Davies, Kitt Peak National Observatory (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0444:
Advanced Technology Optical Telescopes II
Lawrence D. Barr; Brian Mack, Editor(s)

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