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Proceedings Paper

The SOAR optical imager: status and first results
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Paper Abstract

We briefly describe the SOAR Optical Imager (SOI), the first light instrument for the 4.1m SOuthern Astronomical Research (SOAR) telescope now being commissioned on Cerro Pachón in the mountains of northern Chile. The SOI has a mini-mosaic of 2 2kx4k CCDs at its focal plane, a focal reducer camera, two filter cartridges, and a linear ADC. The instrument was designed to produce precision photometry and to fully exploit the expected superb image quality of the SOAR telescope over a 5.5x5.5 arcmin2 field with high throughput down to the atmospheric cut-off, and close reproduction of photometric pass-bands throughout 310-1050 nm. During early engineering runs in April 2004, we used the SOI to take images as part of the test program for the actively controlled primary mirror of the SOAR telescope, one of which we show in this paper. Taken just three months after the arrival of the optics in Chile, we show that the stellar images have the same diameter of 0.74" as the simultaneously measured seeing disk at the time of observation. We call our image "Engineering 1st Light" and in the near future expect to be able to produce images with diameters down to 0.3" in the R band over a 5.5' field during about 20% of the observing time, using the tip-tilt adaptive corrector we are implementing.

Paper Details

Date Published: 30 September 2004
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 5492, Ground-based Instrumentation for Astronomy, (30 September 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.553185
Show Author Affiliations
Hugo E. Schwarz, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (Chile)
Michael C. Ashe, Imaginatics Inc. (United States)
Southern Astrophysical Research Corp. (United States)
Maxime Boccas, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (Chile)
Gemini Observatory (Chile)
Marco Bonati, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (Chile)
California Institute of Technology (United States)
Francisco Delgado, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (Chile)
Ramon Gavez, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (Chile)
Manuel Martinez, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (Chile)
Patricio Schurter, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (Chile)
Ricardo Schmidt, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (Chile)
Roberto Tighe, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (Chile)
Alistair R. Walker, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (Chile)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5492:
Ground-based Instrumentation for Astronomy
Alan F. M. Moorwood; Masanori Iye, Editor(s)

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