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Post Info TOPIC: Palomar Observatory invite


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Palomar Observatory
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Astronomer George Ellery Hale's decades-long drive to build bigger and bigger telescopes is the stuff that operas are made of. The epic brought him in contact with the richest and smartest people of a century ago ... forced him to struggle against petty jealousies and personal demons ... and led him to grand achievements that some thought were impossible.

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Every night, telescopes at the Palomar Observatory are trained on the sky, combing the vast blackness for bursts of light or movement. The trajectory of an asteroid or comet, or the curve of a planet outside the solar system travelling past a star, provide data to help scientists learn more about the universe.

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RE: Palomar Observatory invite
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Oct. 3, 1947
After 13 years of grinding and polishing, the Palomar Observatory mirror is completed at Caltech.
It was, at the time, the largest telescope mirror ever made in the United States, measuring 200 inches in diameter.

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L

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Hale Telescope Shakedown
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Every once in a while you need to give your telescope a shakedown just to make sure that everything is exactly the way you want it and that it will not move during the night. We gave the Hale Telescope just such a shakedown last week.

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Automated Palomar
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Title: The Automated Palomar 60-Inch Telescope
Authors: S. Bradley Cenko, Derek B. Fox, Dae-Sik Moon, Fiona A. Harrison, S. R. Kulkarni, John R. Henning, C. Dani Guzman, Marco Bonati, Roger M. Smith, Robert P. Thicksten, Michael W. Doyle, Hal L. Petrie, Avishay Gal-Yam, Alicia M. Soderberg, Nathaniel L. Anagnostou, Anastasia C. Laity

Researchers have converted the Palomar 60-inch telescope (P60) from a classical night assistant-operated telescope to a fully robotic facility. The automated system, which has been operational since September 2004, is designed for moderately fast (t <~ 3 minutes) and sustained (R <~ 23 mag) observations of gamma-ray burst afterglows and other transient events. Routine queue-scheduled observations can be interrupted in response to electronic notification of transient events. An automated pipeline reduces data in real-time, which is then stored on a searchable web-based archive for ease of distribution. The researchers describe here the design requirements, hardware and software upgrades, and lessons learned from roboticisation. They present an overview of the current system performance as well as plans for future upgrades.

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Palomar Observatory invite
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The California Institute of Technology's Palomar Observatory invites the public to share the wonders of exploring the universe during its open house on Saturday, June 25, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visitors will go behind the glass for an insider's tour of the giant Hale Telescope.

Events at the open house will include tours of the 200-inch Hale and 60-inch telescopes, talks by Caltech and JPL astronomers, solar observing (weather permitting), exhibits, prizes, and more. For those with interests outside of astronomy, rangers from the Cleveland National Forest Service will be on hand to answer questions and the Palomar Mountain Volunteer Fire Department will have a vintage 1929 fire truck on display.

Walking is required to reach many of the open house events but buses and tour guides will take people to a number of the events at the observatory.

Admission to the open house is free. Food and beverages will be available for purchase, along with Palomar Observatory and astronomy souvenirs.

The Palomar Observatory is located at 35899 Canfield Road on Palomar Mountain. To reach Palomar, exit Interstate 15 at State Highway 76 eastbound. Twenty-five miles from the interchange, County Road S-6 exits to the left and climbs to the Palomar summit, ending at the observatory gates. Parking will be limited. (Please note that there are no service stations on Palomar Mountain. Visitors should check their fuel before driving to the observatory.)

Directions and more information is available at http://friendsofpalomarobservatory.org or by calling (760) 742-2111.

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