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Proceedings Paper

Parallel observing: how to get unlimited observing time on a large optical telescope
Author(s): Nicholas P. Rees; Craig D. Mackay; Mike Disney
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Paper Abstract

A large telescope spends over 70 per cent of its time observing isolated objects on the telescope axis -an excessive waste of the available field of view. This paper describes a CCD camera which images the off-axis light on the William Herschel Telescope whilst an on-axis observer uses the telescope as normal. This enables a major background survey to be performed at minimal cost, and with no additional observing time. The cost of the system is about $150,000; by doubling the use of a telescope which costs $10,000 per night to run it pays for itself within a matter of weeks. Implementing similar systems on the new generation of large telescopes would ensure that the quality of background surveys will automatically keep pace with the advancing telescope technology.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 July 1990
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 1235, Instrumentation in Astronomy VII, (1 July 1990); doi: 10.1117/12.19109
Show Author Affiliations
Nicholas P. Rees, Univ. of Cambridge (United States)
Craig D. Mackay, Univ. of Cambridge (United Kingdom)
Mike Disney, Univ. of Wales (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1235:
Instrumentation in Astronomy VII
David L. Crawford, Editor(s)

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