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messenger-no41

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Published by: European Southern Observatory on May 06, 2009
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05/11/2014

N o.4 1
-
S e p te m b e r 1 9 8 5
C o m e t H a lle y O b s e r v e d a tL a S illa
W h ile

P e r io d ic G o m e t H a lle y r a p id ly a p p r o a c h e s th e S u n , p re p a ra tio n sa reb e in g m a d ein m a n y p la c e s to o b s e rv e th is d is tin g u is h e d c e le s tia l v is ito r . D u rin g

m o s t o f th e m o n th s o f
J u n e a n d J u ly 1 9 8 5 , H a lle y w a s " b e h in d " th eS una n d c o u ld
not be
o b s e rv e d .
F ro m
a b o u t J u ly
1 5 , a tte m p ts
t o
o b ta in
im a g e s o f H a lle y
w e re
m ade
in
v a r io u s
p la c e s , a n d
it n o w
a p p e a rs
th a t th e
firs t c o n firm e d
s ig h tin g
w as
m ade
a t th e
E u ro p e a n S o u th e rn O b s e rv a to ryo nJ u ly1 9 .

O nth is d a te H a lle y w a s a t d e c lin a tio n+ 1 8 d e g r e e s a n d o n ly 3 0 d e g re e s w e s t o f th e S u n . F ro m th e tim e th e c o m e t ro s e o v e r th e e a s te rn h o r iz o n a tL a S illa t o th e m o m e n t w h e n th e s k y b rig h tn e s s b e c a m e e x c e s s iv e , th e re w a s a t m o s t2 0m in u te s . T h e

o n ly te le s c o p e
a tL aS illa w h ic h
isa b le to
p o in tin
th is

d ir e c tio nisth e4 0 c m d o u b le a s tro g ra p h(G P O ) -a ll o th e rsa re p r o h ib ite d to d os o b y s o p h is tic a te d c o m p u te r c o n tro l o r lim it s w itc h e s w ith o u t p ity . T h e4 0c mis a ls o th e s m a lle s t te le s c o p e o nL aS illa ,s o th e o u tc o m e o f th e a tte m p t to o b s e rv e H a lle y w a s v e ry d o u b tfu l.

A t th is v e ry lo w a ltitu d e , a c c u r a te g u id in gis d iffic u lt b e c a u s e th e re fra c tio ninth e E a rth 's a tm o s p h e re c h a n g e s v e ry ra p id ly a sth e

o b je c t m o v e s a w a y fro m
th e

h o riz o n . M o re o v e r, th e e x p e c te d b r ig h tn e s s o f H a lle y w a s o n ly1 4 .5 -1 5 .0a n d it c o u ld under no

c irc u m s ta n c e s
b e
s e e n
in
th e
g u id in g
te le s c o p e .
O ffs e t g u id in g a t th e ra te o f th e c o m e t's m o tio n w a s th e re fo re
n e c e s s a ry .

T o g e th e r w ithD rs.P e re y ra a n d T u c h o lk e , I w a s n o t o p tim is \ue000 tic a b o u t th e p ro s p e c tso nth a t m o rn in g , w h e n w e m a d e th e firs t a tte m p t. A h e a v y b a r w h ic h s u p p o rts th e d o m e o b s tru c te d th e v ie w a n d it w a s o n ly p o s s ib le to g e t o n e g o o d 1O -m in .1Ia -O p la te . A fte r p r o c e s s in g , it w a s in s p e c te d c a r e fu lly - it s h o w e d s ta rs d o w n to

16 mag
o r fa in te r, b u t th e re w a s
n o
o b v io u s
c o m e t im a g e . S in c e th e fie ld
isinth e M ilk yW ay, th e re w e re
s e v e ra l v e ry fa in t im a g e s ; h o w e v e r, th e ya lltu rn e d o u t to b e
fa in t s ta rs w h e n
a c o m p a r is o n
w a s m a d e w ith
th e
P a lo m a r
A tla s .
A n o th e r p la te w a s o b ta in e do nJ u ly 2 0 , b u t th is m o r n in g th e
w in d
w a s s tra n g a n d
g u s ty a n d th e te le s c o p e c o u ld
not be
h e ld
s te a d y .
T h e
lim itin g
m a g n itu d e
w as
th e re fo re
a b o u t
0 .5 m a g b r ig h te r th a no nth e p re c e d in g m o rn in g . T h e n c a m e a
s n o w s to rm

a n d w ith th a t th e e n d o f o u r a tte m p ts .W esent a te le x toD r.B ria n M a rs d e n a t th elA U G e n tra l T e le g ra m B u re a u in fo r m in g h im

a b o u t th e n e g a tiv e re s u lt. T h e m o s t im p o r ta n t
w as
o f c o u rs e
t h a t H a lle y
a p p e a re d
t o
b e
a b o u t 1 .5 m a g
fa in te r th a n p r e d ic te d .

U p o n m y re tu rn to E S O -G a rc h in g , b y th e e n d o f J u ly ,E S O p h o to g r a p h e rG . M a d s e n a n d I d e c id e d to h a v e a c lo s e r lo o k a t th e p la te s . A p h o to g r a p h ic a lly a m p lifie d c o p y w a s m a d e o f t h e J u ly1 9 p la te (th is m e th o d a llo w s v e ry fa in t, e x te n d e d o b je c ts to b e b e tte r s e e n ), a n d th e p la te w a s m e a s u re dinth e S -3 0 0 0 m e a s u rin g m a c h in e . In d e e d , a v e ry fa in t, d iffu s e o b je c t w a s c le a rly s e e n n e a r th e e x p e c te d p o s itio n .It d id n o t c o r r e s p o n d

t o
a n y
im a g e
o n
th e
P a lo m a r A tla s .
A lth o u g h
d iffic u lt
t o

m e a s u re , a p o s itio n c o u ld b e tra n s m itte d toD r.M a rs d e n w ith th e p r o v is o th a t it w o u ld b e w is e t o a w a it c o n fir m in g o b s e r v a \ue000 tio n s fro m

o th e r o b s e rv a to rie s b e fo re p u b lic a tio n o f th eE S O
p o s itio n .

O nJ u ly 2 7 ,2 8 a n d 2 9 H a lle y w a s o b s e r v e d b y G ib s o n a t P a lo m a r(6 0in c h te le s c o p e ) a n d la te r,o n A u g u s t 1 a n d 4 b y S e k iinJ a p a n . T h e m a g n it u d e o f H a lle yo n A u g u s t 1 w a s 1 6 , c o n fir m in g o u r e a rlie r e s tim a te . T h e s e o b s e r v a tio n s s h o w e d th a t o u r m e a s u re m e n to n J u ly 1 9 w a s w ith in a fe w a r c s e c o n d s o f w h e re

H a lle y
s h o u ld
h a v e
b e e n , th u s
e lim in a tin g
d o u b t
a b o u t th e c o rre c tn e s so fth e id e n tific a tio n . T h eE S O o b s e rv a \ue000
tio n w a s p u b lis h e do n
lA U
c ir c u la r 4 0 9 0 .
A lth o u g h
th is
fa c tin
its e lf c a rrie s
lit t le
s c ie n tific
v a lu e , it
b o d e s w e il fo r th eE S Oo b s e rv a tio n so f H a lle yin m id -F e b ru a ry
1986, when
it re a p p e a rs fro m

b e h in d th e S u n , ju s t a fte r th e p e r ih e l io n p a s s a g e . A t th a t tim e o u r o b s e r v a tio n s w ill b e v a s tly m o r e im p o r ta n t, b e c a u s e th e y w ill c o n tr ib u te e s s e n tia lly to th e n a v ig a tio n o f th e s p a c e c r a ft, w h ic h a re n o we nro u te to H a lle y fo r c lo s e e n c o u n te rsine a rly M a rc h 1 9 8 6 . A n d , o f c o u rs e , itis a lw a y s n ic e to b e th e fir s t, a t le a s t o n c ein a w h ile. . .!

R .W EST
The ESA PCD
a t th e 2 .2 m
T e le s c o p e
s .d iS e r e g o A lig h ie r i* + ,T h e S p a c e T e le s c o p e E u r o p e a n C o o r d in a tin g F a c ility , E u r o p e a n
S o u th e rn O b s e rv a to ry
S .O 'O d o ric o ,H . O e k k e r,B . O e la b re ,G . H u s te r,P . S inc 1 aire , E u ro p e a n S o u th e rn O b s e rv a to ry
M .A .C .P e rry m a n ,M . A d ria e n s ,E S T E C , N o o r d w ljk
F .M a c c h e tto * , S p a c e T e le s c o p e S c ie n c e In s titu te , B a ltim o r e
Ro .E
7 0 0 0
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5 0 0 0
40 0 0
0.1 %
L -
- - '-
.L .-
- l-
L -..J
3 0 0 0
2 0 %
1 0 %
1 .
L o n g -S lit S p e c tr o s c o p y

B e c a u s eo f its v e ry lo w in tr in s ic b a c k g r o u n d n o is e a n d o f th e a b s e n c e o f r e a d o u t n o is e th eP C Dis p a r tic u la r ly w e il s u ite d to a p p lic a tio n s w h e re th e s k y b a c k g r o u n d is lo w . T h e s e s itu a \ue000 tio n s a ls o a llo w t o e x p lo it th e b e s t p a r to f th e d y n a m ic ra n g e , b e fo re s a tu ra tio n s e tsin .T h isis c e r ta in ly th ec as e fo r th e lo n g \ue000 s lit s p e c tr o s c o p y m o d e im p le m e n te d w ith th e B o ile r&

C h iv \ue000
e n s s p e c tro g ra p h a t th e E S O /M a x -P la n c k 2 .2 m
te le s c o p e .
T h e
E S A
P C D
(P h o to n
C o u n tin g
D e te c to r)
(d i

S e re g o A lig h ie r i e t a l., 1 9 8 5a )w a s d e v e lo p e d a tE S T E Ca s a s c ie n tific m o d e l fo r th e F a in t O b je c t C a m e ra(F O G )o fth e H u b b le S p a c e T e le s c o p e

(H S T ).
Ith a s
b e e n
u s e d
a t v a r io u s
te le s c o p e s
(A s ia g o 1 .8m ,E S O
3.6 m
a n d 2 .2m , C F H T 3 .6m ) p r o v id in g
u s
w ith
d a ta
w hose
p ro p e rtie s
a re
v e ry
s im ila r
t o
th o s e
e x p e c te d fo rFO C
d a ta(d i S e r e g o A lig h ie r i e t a l., 1 9 8 4 a n d
1 9 8 5b ).S in c e
la s t A p r il th e
P C D
iso ffe re d
t o
E S O
v is itin g
a s tro n o m e rs a t th e
2.2 m
te le s c o p e
w ith in
th e
te rm s

o fa n E S A IE S O a g re e m e n t, w h e reE S A p ro v id e s th e d e te c to r a n d its c o m p u te r s y s te m , th e d o c u m e n ta tio n a n d s u p p o r t d u rin g th e firs t fe w

tim e s th e
in s tru m e n tis o p e ra te d
a t th e
te le s c o p e ;
E S O
p ro v id e s th e
in te rfa c e s fo r lo n g

s lit s p e c t r o s c o p y a n d d ir e c t im a g in g , o p e ra tio n a l s u p p o r t, te le s c o p e tim e a n d d a ta re d u c tio n

s o ftw a re .
T h e
P C D
is
a b id im e n s io n a l
p h o to n
c o u n tin g
d e te c to r
c o n s is tin go fa 3 - s ta g e im a g e in te n s ifie r w ith m a g n e tic fo c u s \ue000
s in g
a n d
b ia lk a li fir s t
p h o to c a th o d e
(F ig .1 ),c o u p le d
b y
a

r e im a g in g le n s t o a te le v is io n tu b e . T h eT Vc a m e ra d e te c ts th e s c in tilla tio n s a t th e o u tp u t o f th e in te n s ifie r c o r r e s p o n d in g to th e a rriv a l o f in d iv id u a l p h o to n s a t th e firs t p h o to c a th o d e . T h e c e n tra l X -V

p o s itio n
of each
b u rs tis
m e a s u re d

b y a v id e o p r o c e s s in g e le c tr o n ic s , a n dina nim a g e m e m o r y th e m e m o r y c e ll c o r r e s p o n d in g to th a t p o s itio n is in c re m e n te d b y o n e . T h e im a g e g r a d u a lly b u ild s u p

d u r in g th e
exposure and can
b e
re a d n o n - d e s tr u c tiv e ly a n d d is p la y e d a t a n y in te r m e d ia te tim e .
T h e
d e te c to r a n d
it s
e le c tr o n ic s
a re
c o n tr o lle d
b y

a m ini\ue000 c o m p u te r, a n d th e a s tro n o m e r s its a t a te rm in a linth e c o n tro l ro o m . D is p la y s a re p r o v id e d b o th fo r th e a n a lo g o u tp u t o f th e T V

c a m e ra
a n d
fo r th e
d ig ita l d a ta
b e in g
in te g ra te d
in
th e

im a g e m e m o ry . E x p e rie n c e h a s d e m o n s tra te d th a t th e p o s s i\ue000 b ility o f e a s ily a n d q u ic k ly m o n ito r in g th e d a ta , w h ile th e s ea re a c q u ir e d , c o n s id e r a b ly in c re a s e s th e e ffic ie n c y a n d th e q u a lity o f th e o b s e rv a tio n .A nIH A P s ta tio n c a n a ls o b e u s e d fo r th e firs t

d a ta
re d u c tio n
a t
th e
te le s c o p e .
T h e
d o c u m e n ta tio n
a v a ila b le in c lu d e s a U s e r s M a n u a l a n da nIn s ta lla tio n G u id e .
W AV E L E N G T H
(A )
\u2022
A H ilia le d1 0 lh e A s t r o p h y s ic s D iv is io n , S p a c e S c ie n c e D e p a r lm e n l, E u r o p e a n
Space Agency.
+
O nle a v e fro m
O s s e r v a lo r io A s lr o n o m ic o . P a d o v a .
F ig u re
1 :
T h e
r e s p o n s iv e
q u a n tu m
e ffic ie n c y
o fth e
P C D
im a g e
in te n s ifie ra sm e a s u re db y th e m a n u fa c tu re r.
2
1 .1 .
T h eN e w D io p trie C a m e ra

T h e s ta n d a rd s o lid S c h m id t c a m e ra fo r th e B& C s p e c tro \ue000 g ra p h h a s to o s m a ll a b a c k fo c a l d is ta n c e tob eu s e d w ith th e P C D ,w h o s e fro n t h e a dis o f d iffic u lt a c c e s s b e c a u s e o f th e p e rm a n e n t m a g n e t s u rro u n d in g th e tu b e . F o r th is re a s o n a n e w d io p tr ic c a m e ra w a s d e s ig n e d , te n d e re d o u t, b u ilt a n d p u t in to o p e ra tio n a t th e s p e c tro g ra p h . T h e w h o le p ro c e d u re w a s c o m p le te d w ith s u c c e s sin1 0 m o n th s , th a tis a b o u t o n e h a lf o f th e tim e n o rm a lly re q u ire d fo r th is ty p e o f p ro je c t. T h e o p tic a l d e s ig n w a s m a d e a tE S O a n dis s h o w nin F ig u r e2 .

T e n ta tiv e T im e -ta b le o f C o u n c il S e s s io n s
a n d C o m m itte e M e e tin g sin
1 9 8 5
N ovem ber1 2
S c ie n tific T e c h n ic a l C o m m itte e
N ovem ber1 3 -1 4
F in a n c e C o m m itte e
D ecem ber1 1 -1 2
O b s e rv in g P ro g ra m m e s C o m m itte e
D ecem ber1 6
C o m m itte e o f C o u n c il
D ecem ber1 7
C o u n c il
A llm e e tin g s w ill ta k e p la c ea tE S Oin G a r e h in g .
3 0m m
F ig u re2 :T h eo p tie a l d e s ig no f th e n e w d io p tr ie F /2 e a m e ra fo r th e B o ile r& G h iv e n s s p e c tr o g r a p h a n d th eE S A
P G O .
T h e
c h a ra c te ris tic s
o f
th e
c a m e ra
a re :
F o c a l
le n g th : 1 9 0 m m ;
D ia m e te r o f th e
e n tra n c e
le n s :9 8m m ;
A p e rtu re : F /2 ;
W a v e le n g th
ra n g e :3 4 0 0 -6 6 0 0\u00c4 ;
F ie ld
d ia m e te r:2 5m m ; S c a lefa c to r: 1 a r c s e c
=
2 2 /-lm
a t th e
d e te c to r.
1 0 0.- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ,
8 0
T h e im a g e q u a lityis a b o u t2 0/- lm a n d th e v ig n e ttin gis v e ry
s m a ll(5%
at 10m m
fro m

th e a x is ). T h e c a m e ra w a s b u ilt a c c o rd in g to th eE S Os p e c ific a tio n s b y th e O ffic in e G a lile o , Ita ly . F ig u re 3 s h o w s th e m e a s u re d tr a n s m is s io n c u rv e o f th e n e w c a m e ra w ith th a t c o m p u te d fo r th e s o lid S c h m id t. T h e fa ll a t s h o rt w a v e le n g th sisd u e t o th e lo wU V tra n s m is s io n o f th e

F K5 4g la s s c o m p o n e n ts o f th e o p tic a l tra in .B y u s in g g la s s

fro m a m e lt w ith a b e tte rU Vtr a n s p a r e n c y , o n e s h o u ldb e a b le to ris e th e e ffic ie n c y o f th e c a m e ra a t 3 5 0 0\u00c4b y15% . T h is o p tio n w ill p r o b a b ly b e im p le m e n te d a t th e e n d o f th e y e a r.

6 0
- - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
2 0
z~
V l
V l
Bi
4 0
z
\u00ab0 ::
I -
1 .2 .
P e rfo rm a n c e

T h ec a m e ra a n d th e d e te c to r w e re m o u n te d a t th e B& C s p e c tro g ra p hinFebruary 1985(F ig .4 ) and have been used for s e v e ra l o b s e rv in g p ro g ra m s . T h e s ta n d a rd fo rm a t u s e dinth e s p e c tro s c o p ic m o d eis1 0 2 4 x 2 5 6 p ix e ls ,2 5~

l
mins iz e .In a

ty p ic a l c o n fig u ra tio n , th e d e te c to r w a s u s e d w ith th eE S O g r a tin g* 7 to w o r kin th e b lu e ,U V re g io n . T h e lin e a r d is p e r \ue000 s io nisth e n8 5 \u00c4 lm m , th e s p e c tra l c o v e ra g e a b o u t 2 1 0 0\u00c4 . W ith a s lit 1 .5 a r c s e c w id e , th e a v e ra g eFW H M o f th e c o m p a r i\ue000 s o n lin e sis5\u00c4 . T a b le 1 s h o w s th e c h a ra c te ris tic s o f th e g ra tin g s re c o m m e n d e d fo r u s e w ith th e B&C a n d th eP C D .

B y o b s e r v a tio n s o f s ta n d a rd s ta rsG lo s e to th e z e n ith w ith a
w id e ly
o p e n
s lit,
w e
h a v e
d e riv e d
th e
re la tiv e

s p e c tra l re s p o n s e o f th e te le s c o p e -s p e c tro g ra p h -d e te c to r c o m b in a \ue000 tio nw h e n g ra tin g* 7 is u s e d(F ig .5 ).Itis a ls o fo u n d th a t s ta rs of m=1 2 .6 , 1 3 .8 a n d 1 3 .8 g iv e o n e c o u n t/s e c /\u00c4 a t 3 5 0 0 , 3 8 0 0 and 4440\u00c4r e s p e c tiv e ly .In o r d e r to s ta y w ith in th e lin e a r p a r t

5 0 0
3 5 0
4 0 0
4 5 0
W AV E L E N T G H
(nm )
F ig u re3 :T h e
tr a n s m is s io n
o fth e n e w

F /2 c a m e raa s m e a s u re da t E S o .T h e b r o k e n lin e s h o w s th e a v e ra g e e ffic ie n e y (tra n s m is s io n a n d v ig n e ttin g )o fth e s o lid S c h m id t c a m e ra w h ic his u s e da t th e s p e c tr o - g ra p h

w ith theG G O
d e te c to rs .
3

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