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Construction at the MMT

Construction began on January 11, 2010 on an Instrument Repair Facility at the MMT summit.  It is scheduled to be completed by summer.  Construction is taking place during the weekdays between 8:00am – 5:00pm.  There are no plans for work to be done on weekends.  The construction site is cordoned off with cones or is within a chained-off area. 

MMT December Observing Statistics

Percentage of time scheduled for observing               90.0
Percentage of time scheduled for engineering            10.0
Percentage of time scheduled for sec/instr change       0.0

MMTO is looking for an Adaptive Optics Scientist/Engineer

The MMT Observatory (MMTO), a joint venture of the Smithsonian Institution and the University of Arizona, is seeking a Scientist or Engineer with working knowledge of astronomical adaptive optics to join the MMT team. The MMTO operates a 6.5-meter telescope at the summit of Mt. Hopkins (elevation 8550 feet), some 40 miles south of Tucson in southern Arizona. Additional details regarding the telescope and associated instrumentation may be found via the web site: http://www.mmto.org.

Research Using the MMT in the News

From observations made using the MMT, Dr. E. Mamajek of the University of Rochester has discovered that the first known binary star is actually a sextuplet system.   To read the article published by Science Daily, press here.

MMT November Observing Statistics

Percentage of time scheduled for observing             93.4
Percentage of time scheduled for engineering            6.6
Percentage of time scheduled for sec/instr change    0.0

MMT October Observing Statistics

Percentage of time scheduled for observing           100.0
Percentage of time scheduled for engineering           0.0
Percentage of time scheduled for sec/instr change    0.0
Percentage of time lost to weather                         37.5

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 ( http://uao.itl.arizona.edu) 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

T-30 mins!

The last blog before impact (and probably for a while after the impact as I’ll be busy reducing the data we observe!)

Everything here is good – sky is clear with 0.5″ seeing! Could not have asked for a better night. We have moved back to the moon and setting up for the final time before impact.

A quick list of people you might have been watching on the webcam!

All Over!

LCROSS successfully impacted the moon at 4.31am (MST)!! NASA will be having a news conference at 7.00am (PDT) on NASA TV.

We collected data with multiple instruments throughout the impact and for an hour after it. We now have a multitude of data which needs careful reduction over the coming weeks until we will have the opportunity to make any statements on what we saw.