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Florence and George Wise Observatory
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The Florence and George Wise Observatory (IAU code 097) is an astronomical observatory owned and operated by Tel-Aviv University. It is located 5 km west of the city of Mitzpe Ramon in the Negev desert near the edge of the Ramon Crater, and it is the only professional astronomical observatory in Israel.
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Latitude: 3035'45"N, Longitude: 3445'48"E


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Wise Observatory
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Title: The Centurion 18 telescope of the Wise Observatory
Authors: Noah Brosch, David Polishook, Avi Shporer, Shai Kaspi, Assaf Berwald, Ilan Manulis

We describe the second telescope of the Wise Observatory, a 0.46-m Centurion 18 (C18) installed in 2005, which enhances significantly the observing possibilities. The telescope operates from a small dome and is equipped with a large-format CCD camera. In the last two years this telescope was intensively used in a variety of monitoring projects.
The operation of the C18 is now automatic, requiring only start-up at the beginning of a night and close-down at dawn. The observations are mostly performed remotely from the Tel Aviv campus or even from the observer's home. The entire facility was erected for a component cost of about 70k$ and a labour investment of a total of one man-year.
We describe three types of projects undertaken with this new facility: the measurement of asteroid light variability with the purpose of determining physical parameters and binarity, the following-up of transiting extrasolar planets, and the study of AGN variability. The successful implementation of the C18 demonstrates the viability of small telescopes in an age of huge light-collectors, provided the operation of such facilities is very efficient.

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