During our general meeting on Monday,
March 18th, weather at the telescope permitting, we will receive a
tour of the Discovery Channel Telescope and its control room,
conducted live via video teleconference, as the DCT team prepares for
and begins to conduct an observing session. Our hosts will be Kevin
Covey and Lowell Astronomer and Deputy Director of Technology Stephen
The night's observations
will likely include several targets associated with existing LARI
programs, including a dwarf irregular galaxy in the LITTLE THINGS
Survey and a highly variable young star that Kevin is studying. If
these observations are successful, RCA members will be invited to
participate in processing and analyzing this imaging data.
SEE NOTE AT BOTTOM OF PAGE
In the unfortunate event that the
weather doesn't cooperate, some portions or all of this program could
be canceled or rescheduled. Snow at the telescope is still fairly
likely at the time of our meeting and the road to the telescope may be
Lowell Observatory partnered with
Discovery Communications to build the $53 million DCT, which will be
utilized by astronomers at Lowell and several partner institutions,
including Boston University, the University of Maryland/Goddard Space
Flight Center, and the University of Toledo.
The DCT will take observations both in
optical and near-infrared wavelengths. Planned projects for the new
telescope include a spectroscopic survey of Kuiper Belt objects, comet
observations, and a study of the relationship between mass and
luminosity in the youngest, most massive stars.
Perched at 7,760 feet on the edge of a
cinder cone 40 miles southeast of Flagstaff, Arizona, is Lowell
Observatory’s new Discovery Channel Telescope (DCT).
At 4.3 meters, the DCT is the
fifth-largest telescope in the
continental United States.
The DCT will be used to study a broad range of topics, extending from
objects in our own solar system to the large-scale structure of the
universe. The Kuiper Spectral Survey will utilize the LMI and NIHTS to
characterize hundreds of Kuiper Belt objects. The LITTLE THINGS Survey
is scrutinizing 41 nearby dwarf irregular galaxies to understand how
star formation proceeds in the smallest galaxies. Lowell Research
Astronomer and RCA member Kevin Covey will use the DCT to study the
formation and evolution of low-mass stars, and the planetary systems
they may host.
Stephen Levine's Bio --
Kevin Covey's Web Site and Bio --