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messenger-no7

messenger-no7

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Published by: European Southern Observatory on Apr 07, 2009
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05/11/2014

T H E
M E S S E N G E R
No. 7 -
D ecem ber1 9 7 6
A G ia n t L e a p fo r E u ro p e a n A s tro n o m y
F IR S T P H O T O G R A P H S
W IT H
TH E
E S O
3 .6M ETRE
T E L E S C O P E
O n eo f th efirs t
p rim e -fo e u sp h o to \ue000
g ra p h iep la te s
ta k e n
w ith
th e
g ia n tE S O
te le \ue000
seope on
L aS il/a
show safie ld
w ith
an e w ly
d is e o v e r e dirre g u \ue000
la rd w a rfg a la x y
i n
th es o u th e rn
e o n s te lla tio n
S e u lp to r(s e e
p a g e
1 6 ).O b\ue000
s e rv e r: D r.S . L a u s t\ue000
sen, ESO ;e x p o \ue000
s u re
1 2 0m in o n
N ovem ber11, 1 9 7 6 ;
e m u ls io n
IIla -J
b a k e di n
n itro g e n ;
filte rG G
3 8 5 ;
b lu ee o rre e to rle n s ;
s m a lle s t im a g e s
7 0m ie ro n s
=
1 .3
a re s e e o n d .
" F irs t
L ig h t"
fo r
3 .6
m
T e le s c o p e

Afirs tlo o ka tth e s k yth ro u g hth e E S O 3 .6 mte le s c o p ew ith itsm irro ra lu m in iz e d w a s ta k e nd u rin gth en ig h to fN ovem \ue000 b e r7 -8 .T h e"firs tlig h t"t o ate le s c o p e is au n iq u em o m e n t, a n d

it w asc e le b ra te d
w ith
am id n ig h t te a .B uta p a rtfro m
th a t, w e h a d m a n ytro u b le sth a t n ig h t.O b v io u s ly y o uc a n \ue000
n o te x p e c te v e ry th in gt ow o rka to n c e in a n
in s tru m e n ta s
c o m p le x
a s
th e
3 .6
m
te le s c o p e ;
m uch
tim e
m ust
b e
a llo w e dfo rd e b u g g in gth ee n tire s y s te m . T h ep e o p lew ho
w o rkw ithi th a v e to le a r nh o wt o h a n d leth ev a rio u sp ro c e \ue000
d u re s ,b u ta fte r a v e rys u c c e s s fu la lu m in iz a tio n , w e
h a d
n e a rlyfo rg o tte n
th a ts o m e th in g
c o u ld
g ow ro n g .A nd
s o ,
d u rin gth en ig h to ffirs t lig h t,th e im a g e s(w h a t a d is a s te r !)
lo o k e d
lik e
s m a ll
h e a rts .
V e ry
ro m a n tic ,
a lth o u g h
n o t
e x a c tlyw hata s tro n o m e rsa r elo o k in gfo r inth e s k y . Itto o k
u stw o
d a y s
t o
fin d
a n d
c u re
th a tfa u lt. T h e
1 1 -to n
m a in
m irro rh a dc h o s e nt o re s t o ntw oo fth eb a c ks u p p o rts o n ly .
F ro m
th eth ird
o n e
itk e p t are s p e c tfu ld is ta n c eo f 1 m m .
T h eth ird
n ig h t(N o v e m b e r9 -1 0 )w as
m uch
m o re
s u c \ue000
c e s s fu l.T h e
n e w ly -d is c o v e re d
d w a rfg a la x y
in
S c u lp to r
(s e e p a g e 1 6 ) w a so nth ep ro g ra m m e , a n d ao n e -h o u re x \ue000
p o s u rer e v e a le d
its b e a u ty a n dshow ed ag o o dnum bero f
it s
b rig h te rs ta rs
r e s o lv e d .
T h is
firs tp la te
h a s
b e e n
fo l\ue000
lo w e d
b y
o th e rs
o f
u p
t o
tw o
h o u rs
e x p o s u re
(s e e
th e
c o v e rp h o to ).D u rin g
th e
firs tfiv e
n ig h ts
w e
h a v e
ta k e n
a b o u t3 0 p la te s a n dth e im a g eq u a litylo o k s v e ryg o o d . W e
s till
h a v e
t o
d e te rm in e
th e
lim itin g
m a g n itu d e ,
b u t
i t
s h o u ld
b e a t le a s t 2 4m,
p o s s ib ly e v e n fa in te r .
Alo to fw o rkh a s b e e nd o n e tog e tth is fa r.In th e la s t is s u e
o fth eM essenger w ere p o rte dth a tth em e c h a n ic a l a s s e m \ue000
b lyo fth ete le s c o p e w a sc o m p le te d .S in c e th e n ,th ete le \ue000
s c o p ec o n tro lshave been
p u tt ow o rkb y a te a m
fro m
th e
E le c tr o n ic s
G ro u p
fro m
G eneva
w ho
s p e n tm ore
th a n
a
m o n tho n L a S illa .T h eo p tic s h a v e b e e n in s ta lle d a n d a s y s \ue000
te m a tica lig n m e n ta n d
te s tp ro g ra m m e
has been
c a rrie d
o u tb y a te a mo fth re efro m
t h eO p tic s Gro u p in G e n e v a du r\ue000
in g
th e
la s ttw o
m o n th s .A sm e n tio n e d
a b o v e ,th e
m irro r

h a s b e e na lu m in iz e d . N o t a s m a lljo b e ith e r ,b u t it w a s s o w e ilp re p a re dth a ta lre a d yth e firs ta lu m in iz in g g a v e a ne x \ue000 c e lle n tr e s u lt. O n th e s e b igjo b s a s w e ila s o n

h u n d re d so f
s m a lle r o n e s ,th ew o rk
has been
p ro g re s s in g
s te a d ily , a l\ue000
th o u g hn o tw ith o u tm in o rs e tb a c k s . O nA u g u s t2 6 , alig h t-
The ESO
3 .6
m e tre te le s c a p e o n
La S illa.In
th e
fro n te n d
th e
p rim e -fo c u sc a g e .
2
A
lo o kdow n
in
th e
p rim e -fo c u scage. To
th e
rig h t, th ea s tro n o \ue000
m e r's c h a ir, fro m

w h ic hh eg u id e s th e te le s c o p ed u rin g th ee x p o \ue000 S u re s .In th ec e n tre th ea d a p to rw ith a n e y e p ie c efo rd ire c t v ie w in g a n d

fo c u s s in g . A b o v eth isthe TV-cam era (see text).
n in g
s tru c kth edom e a n d
c a u s e d
alo to fdam age t o

th e e le c tr ic a lin s ta lla tio na n dth en e w ly - in s ta lle de le c tro n ic s . A fe w w e e k s la te ra p a rto fth eb u ild in g w a sflo o d e dw ith o il, a n d

c le a n in g - u p
to o k
s e v e ra l d a y s . N e v e r m in d , w e
fe e l
th a tth e
p h o to so fth e
la s tn ig h tsm o re th a n
c o m p e n s a te
th ed iffic u ltie sb e h in d !
N o w , h o w e v e r, w es h o u ld b e c a re fu ln o t to g iv e th eim -
P re p a rin g
o b s e rv a tio n s .
T h e
a s tro n o m e r
is
a b o u t
t o
e n te rth e
p rim e -fo c u sc a g e ,w h ic h
h e
rid e s
d u rin g
th e e x p o s u re .T o
fa c i\ue000
lita te
e n try , th e
te le s c o p e
isb ro u g h tt o
h o riz o n ta lp o s itio n . T h e
e x c h a n g eo ft o p - e n d s , w hic h is au n iq u e f e a t u r e o fth eE S O
te le \ue000
s c o p e , is a ls od o n ein
th is p o s itio n .
p r e s s io n th a to u rw o rko n th e te le s c o p e is fin is h e d . S o fa r,
o n ly
th e
p rim e
fo c u s
is
in
o p e ra tio n .A
g re a tm any
im \ue000
p ro v e m e n ts a n d
m in o rjo b ss till h a v e to
b e

m a d e .B ut in b e tw e e n , th eo b s e rv a tio n sc o n tin u e . A n d it iso u rb e lie f a n d h o p eth a tth ep e rc e n ta g eo ftim e d e v o te d toa s tro n o m yw ill fro m

n o w
o n
s te a d ily in c re a s e .
S .L a u s ts e n ,N ovem ber12, 1976
O p tic a l A lig n m e n t o f 3 .6 m
T e le s c o p e a n d
F irs t T e s ts
T h eO p tic sG ro u p fro m

G e n e v a h a s b e e n in te n s iv e lyo c c u \ue000 p ie dfo r th e la s t te n w e e k sw ithth ea lig n m e n t a n dte s tin go f th e

p rim e -fo c u so p tic sfo rthe 3.6
m
te le s c o p e .
T h e b a s ica lig n m e n to fth eo p tic s o fth ete le s c o p e
p e r\ue000
p e n d ic u la rt o
th e
d e c lin a tio n
a x is
w as
c o m p le te d
a b o u t
th re e
weeks ago.S in c e
th a ttim e, an
in te n s iv e
p e rio d
o f
H a rtm a n n
te s tin g
h a s fu llyo c c u p ie d
u s o
T h em e a s u r in g
fa c ilitie sa t p r e s e n t a v a ila b le o n
La S illa
a re
n o ts u ffic ie n tlya c c u ra te
t o
g iv e
a fin a lfig u re
fo rth e
c o n c e n tra tio n
o fg e o m e tric a le n e rg yin
a g iv e n

d ia m e te r. H o w e v e r, th e r e is t c le a r e v id e n c eth a tth es p e c ific a tio no f 7 5

%
w ith in
a
d ia m e te ro f0 .4
a rc s e c o n d
s h o u ld
b e
fu l\ue000
fille d -w eth in kp ro b a b lyb y a c le a rm a rg in . T h ec o m p u te r
a n a ly s is
o fth e
p la te sshow sth a t th e
b a s ic ,lo w e r-o rd e r\ue000
a b e rra tio n
te rm s a re s m a lI;w h ile

th ew o rk s h o p te s ts h a d a lr e a d y e s ta b l is h e dth a tth e su rfa c e s a re v e rys m o o th .T u r\ue000 b u le n c ee ffe c ts

in
th edom e a n d

te le s c o p e s e e m ,a tp re \ue000 s e n t, to b e th efa c to rslim itin gq u a lity a n d th ep r e c is io no f c e n trin g .H o w e v e r, e v e nw ith th ee x is tin gp la te -m e a s u rin g fa c ilitie s , it h a s b e e np o s s ib le toc e n tre th e s y s te m tow ith in 0 .2a rc s e c o n do fta n g e n tia l c o m a , in s p iteo fdom etu rb u \ue000 le n c e a n d

in d iffe re n te x te rna l s e e in g .
E x te rn a l s e e in g
has been
m a in lyp o o rd u rin g th ew h o le
te s t p h a s e ,b u tth e
firs tp h o to g ra p h s
w ith
th e
te le s c o p e
h a v e
show n
v e ry
c ir c u la rim a g e s
o ffa in ts ta rs
o n
IIla -J
p la te s
w ith
d ia m e te rs
o f
1
t o
1
1
/2
a rc s e c o n d .
W ith
th e
a c tu a l s e e in gc o n d itio n sp re v a ilin g , th e H a r tm a n n te s ts a re
a tle a s t a no rd e ro fm a g n itu d em o re p r e c is e th a n v is u a lo r
p h o to g ra p h ica s s e s s m e n ts .

A ss o o n a s th e H a rtm a n n p la te s h a v e b e e n m e a s u re d o n am orea c c u ra tem e a s u r i n gm a c h in e in E u r o p e , ac o m p le te re p o rto fth e te s t re s u lts

w ill be
p u b lis h e d . T h e s e
re s u lts
w illre fe r to th e
n a k e d
m irro ra n d to th ec o m p le te

p rim e \ue000 fo c u ss y s te mw ithth eG a s c o ig n e p la tec o rre c to rs . T h etrip \ue000 le tc o rre c to rsw illb e a v a ila b le in a fe w

m o n th sa n d w ill b e
th es u b je c to fafu rth e r re p o rt.
T h eC a s s e g ra in -fo c u sa lig n m e n ta n d
te s tss h o u ld
ta k e
p la c ea b o u tn e x tM a rc h .
R .
W ils o n ,
O c to b e r29, 1976
T h e P rim e -F o c u s C a g e
T h e
fir s t p la te s h a v en o w
b e e n ta k e n
w ithth e3.6 m
te le \ue000
s c o p e .T h is w a sd o n e in t h ep rim e -fo c u s c a g eth a ta llo w s
th e
a s tro n o m e rt o
rid e
in
th e
fro n te n d
o fth e
te le s c o p e
d u rin gth e o b s e rv a tio n s .Inth efo llo w in g
w e s h a lle x p la in
h o w
th e
c a g e
w ase q u ip p e d
fo rth e
firs tte s to f th e
te le \ue000
s c o p e .
Inth e c a g eth e reisro o m
fo ro n ea s tro n o m e r,a na d a p to r
andsom ea u x ilia r ye q u ip m e n t needed byth ea s tro n o m e r
3

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