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2010 Staff Photo ...

Every year we gather at the telescope for our annual staff photograph - unfortunately a good few of us were missing but those who did make it were smiling away! From left-to-right we have: Bryan, Dallan, Dusty, Morag, Ale, Tom T, Grant, Duane, Faith, Tom G, Marilyn, Ben, Barb, Tom O, Brian, Cory & JT. Missing are: Dennis, Marc, John M, Dondi, John D, Mike, & Ricardo.

2010 Aluminization Video

Here is the video from the camera mounted in the window of the vacuum bell jar during the ‘shoot’.

The Whereabouts of MMIRS & Megacam

It has been decided by the PIs of MMIRS and Megacam to leave both instruments at Magellan for the next several years as long as they are being scientifically productive there.

Official Statement on the Re-coating of the MMT Primary Mirror

The MMT was taken offline for an extended period during this year’s summer shutdown to re-coat the primary mirror.

Kodak Interviews Marget Geller

Catch an interview of Dr. Margaret Geller of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory posted on the Kodak website.

MMT Primary Mirror Coating Removed for Re-aluminization

The 6.5-meter MMT primary mirror was stripped of its aluminum coating on July 23, 2010, in preparation for re-aluminization.

MMT Telescope Operator featured on NPR's "All Things Considered" 6/4/10

MMT operator Mike Alegria is featured in an “unusual job” segment on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” this afternoon.

The New Red Channel Detector

The installation and testing of a new detector for Red Channel has been completed by the UofA’s Imaging Technology Laboratory (ITL). The new device has 15-micron pixels and a format of 520 x 1032 pixels (spatial x dispersion). The read noise of the detector is 3.5 electrons. The measure QE for the detector is provided below. ITL’s web page ( provides additional details and information.

MMT Red Channel CCD Quantum EfficiencyMMT Red Channel CCD Quantum Efficiency

MMT September Observing Statistics

Percentage of time scheduled for observing             96.7
Percentage of time scheduled for engineering            3.3
Percentage of time scheduled for sec/instr change     0.0

LCROSS: It all comes down to tonight...

After being involved in the LCROSS project and preparation for the ground based observations from the MMT over the last 18 months it has all come down to tonight. We have one shot at getting these observations so the nerves are running a little high in the control room!

In the last 10 minutes we have had confirmation from NASA that the centaur and payload (ie. the two halves of the rocket – the centaur will crash into the moon first with the payload carrying the instruments crashing in 4 minutes later) have separated successfully.