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

N o.5 6-J u n e1 9 8 9
" F irs tL ig h t"i n th e N TT
R . W IL S O N ,E S O
O n th en ig h t 2 2 -2 3
M a rc h1 9 8 9 , "F irs tL ig h t" w as a c h ie v e di nth e N lT inth e s e n s eth a t
th efirs t d ire c t im a g e so f
a s tro n o m ic a l o b je c ts w e rep ro d u c e d w ithth eo p tic si na no p tim iz e d s ta ten e a r th e z e n ithp o s itio n .
T h efa c t th a t th eq u a lityo f th e s eim -
a g e s
tu rn e d
o u tt o
b e
th e
b e s te v e r
'
re c o rd e d
in
g ro u n d -b a s e d
a s tro n o m y
c e r ta in lym adei tth em ost m e m o ra b le
e v e n ti nth eE S O
c a re e ro f th ea u th o r
a n dh isc o lle a g u e sw hosew o rko n th e
N TTh a d le dt o th isre m a rk a b les u c c e s s .
B utth isr e s u lt d idn o td ro po u to f th e
s k y !M any y e a rso fh a rd w o rkb yas m a ll
g ro u p
o f
d e d ic a te d
c o lle a g u e s
w e re
n e c e s s a ryt o
a c h ie v ei t .T h e
p r in c ip a l
n e wte c h n o lo g yfe a tu reo f th eN 7T w as
it s
A c tiv e
O p tic s
c o n tro ls y s te m ,th e
b a c k g ro u n d
a n d
p r in c ip le s
o f
w h ic h
w e re
d e s c r ib e d
in
T h e
M essenger
N o.5 3
(S e p te m b e r1 9 8 8 ),p a g e1 .T h e
o th e rn e wte c h n o lo g yfe a tu reo f fu n d a -
i
m e n ta l im p o rta n c e fo r th eo p tic a l q u a lity
w as th ed e s ig no fth eb u ild in g . A lth o u g h
it sb a s icc o n c e p ti sth esam ea s th a to f
th eM M T(ab u ild in g ro ta tin g w ith th ea lt-
a z
m o u n te d
te le s c o p e ),
th e
n e w
fe a tu re s
w e re
c r u c ia l,p a rtic u la rly
th e
o p e n in go f th ete le s c o p ea re ao nb o th
I
s id e st oa llo wm a x im u mn a tu ra l v e n tila -
tio n .
T h e s e
tw o
n e w
te c h n o lo g y
fe a tu re s ,
to g e th e r
w ith
th e
e x c e lle n t
w o rko f C a rl Z e is si nfig u rin gth eo p tic s ,
w e re
th e
k e y
t o
th e
im a g e
q u a lity
a c h ie v e da t F ir s tL ig h t.
T h e B a s ic(" P a s s iv e " ) A lig n m e n t
o fth e O p tic s
T h is fa ls e -c o lo u r p h o to show so n e o f th e b e s tC C D fra m e s o b ta in e dw ithth eE S O N T d u rin g
th en ig h t of "first lig h t"o n M a r c h2 3 ,1 9 8 9 .T h e fie ld jsn e a r th ec e n tre o fth eb rig h t s o u th e rn
T h e
fin a ls ta g e
fo r
th e
N TT
g lo b u la rc lu s te r O m egaC e n ta u ria n dth e fra m es iz ei s-4 7
x4 7 a rc s e c o n d s . T h e m e a s u re d
s ta rte d
in
N ovem ber
1 9 8 8 .
T h e
d ia m e te ro f th es te lla r im a g e s(a th a lfo f th em a x im u m
in te n s ity )i so n ly0 .3 3a rc s e c o n d s .
m e c h a n ic so f th ete le s c o p eh a db e e n
E x p o s u re tim e :1 0s e c o n d s ;N o rthi su pa n dE a s ti st o
th ele ft.S eep a g e3fo r m ore d e ta ils .
a s s e m b le d
u n d e r
th e
s u p e r v is io n

o f G e ra rd oIh le . T o h im a n d h is c o lle a g u e s in

C h ile
w e
o w e , a ls o
fo r
m uch
h e lp
la te r, a
d e e p
s e n s e
o f
g ra titu d e . T h e
o p tic a l
a lig n m e n t
p ro c e d u re
a n d
th e
h a n d lin g
o f
a ll th e
e le m e n ts

in v o lv e d , re q u ire d th e d e fin itio n a n d p ro c u re m e n t o f a c o n s id e r a b le

n u m b e r o f m o u n tin g a n d h a n d lin g d e v ic e s . T h is w a s p la n n e d a n d d e fin e d b y F ra n c is F ra n z a a n d P a u l G io rd a n o

la s t
a u tu m n
a n d
m a n u fa c -
tu re d
w ith
th e
h e lp
o f
R a in e r G ro te .
F r a n c is a n d
P a u l th e n
spent 6
w eeks
fro m

th e b e g in n in g o f N o v e m b e r, w ith - o u t in te rm is s io n , p re p a rin g th is m a te ria l fo r th e fo llo w in g a lig n m e n t m is s io n . T h is in c lu d e d

th e
m o u n tin g
o f
th e
p rim e
m irro r s u p p o rts
a n d
th e ir te s tin g
w ith
L o th a r N o e th e . A s
a n
e x a m p le
o f th e
s o r t o f a u x ilia r y

m a te r ia l in v o lv e d , o n e c a n c ite th e te m p o ra ry "b rid g e " o v e r M 3 w h ic h

s e rv e s fo r its m o u n tin g b u t a ls o a s s u p p o rt fo r o n e o f th e s ig h tin g te le - s c o p e s u s e d in th e a lig n m e n t.

T h e n fo llo w e d a s e c o n d m is s io n fro m 1 0 J a n u a r y , a ls o o f 6 w e e k s w ith o u t a n y in te r m is s io n ,

fo r
th e
b a s ic
( p a s s iv e )
a lig n m e n t
o f
th e
o p tic s
o f
th e
N T T ,

c a rrie d o u t b y F ra n c is F ra n z a , P a u l G io r- d a n o a n d R a y W ils o n . T h e p ro c e d u re fo r th is

a lig n m e n t
w as
la id
dow n
b y
th e
a b o v e o n th e b a s is o f a s ta n d a rd p ro c e -
d u re u s e d b y th e m

on a num ber of La S illa te le s c o p e s , n o ta b ly th e 3 .6 m , th e D a n is h 1 .5 4 m , th e C A T a n d , in its fin a l s ta g e s , fo r th e

M P lA
2 .2 m . T h e

N TT a lig n m e n t p ro c e d u re w a s a m o re re fin e d a n d c o m p le te fo rm , ta k in g a c c o u n t o f its a lt-a z

m ount
a n d
d o u b le

N a s m y th fo c u s . If o n e c o n s id e r s c e r ta in in e v ita b le p ro b le m s

o f c o n tro l o f th e
te le s c o p e ,
th is
a lig n m e n t p r o g r a m m e , c o m p r is in g
5 6
in d iv id u a l
te c h n ic a l
s te p s ,
re p -

re s e n te d th e a b s o lu te m a x im u m a c h ie v - a b le in 6 w e e k s o f c o n tin u o u s w o r k . In fa c t,

w ith o u t
th e
a b s o lu te ly
e x c e lle n t
s u p p o rt fro m
th e L a S illa c o lle a g u e s in
e le c tr o n ic s ,
m e c h a n ic s
a n d
o p tic s ,
i t
w o u ld
n o t
h a v e
b e e n
p o s s ib le
in
th e
tim e .
I n
p a rtic u la r,
th e

c o n tin u o u s s u p e rb s u p p o rt o f th e m e c h a n ic a l w o rk - s h o p m u s t b e e m p h a s iz e d a s p la y in g a k e y ro le in th e c o m p le tio n o f th e h e a v y w o rk

lo a d . T h is
g e n e ra l p ro c e d u re
in -
c lu d e d
th e
a lu m in iz a tio n
o f
th e
th re e
m irro rs , c a rrie d
o u t u n d e r th e
s u p e r v i-
s io n
o f P a u l G io r d a n o
w ho
h a s
m any
y e a rs
o f
e x p e r ie n c e
in
th is
fie ld .
O f
c o u rs e , th e
b ig g e s t ta s k
h e re w a s th e
p rim a ry
a lu m in iz a tio n ,
a b o v e
a ll
b e -
c a u s e
o f th e
d e lic a te
h a n d lin g
p ro c e -
d u r e in v o lv e d .

T h e in d iv id u a l s te p s o f t h e a lig n m e n t p ro c e d u re c a n b e g ro u p e d in th e fo llo w - in g w o rk p a c k a g e s :

-
O p tic a l id e n tific a tio n
o f th e A L T -a x is
( b a s ic
re fe re n c e
lin e
fo r
th e
w h o le
a lig n m e n t).
-
O p tic a l id e n tific a tio n o f t h e A Z - a x is .
-

O p tic a l id e n tific a tio n o f O P T , th e lin e d e fin e d a s th e o p tic a l a x is o f th e te le - s c o p e a n d w h ic h

is p e r p e n d ic u la r t o
A LT
a n d
tra v e rs e s
th e
in te rs e c tio n
p o in t o f A L T a n d A Z .
-
R e d u c tio n
o f
th e
a n g u la r e rro r

b e - tw e e n O P T a n d A Z a n d th e in te rs e c - tio n

(c o p la n a rity ) e rro r
in
th e
k n o t
p o in t o f A Z re la tiv e t o A L T .
-

A d ju s tm e n t o f M 3 b e a r in g a x is t o b e c o in c id e n t in a n g le a n d p o s itio n w ith O P T .

-
M o u n t M 2 , c e n tre
it to
O P T , s e t it
p e r p e n d ic u la r t o
O PT
a n d
a lig n th e
fo c u s m o v e m e n t to O P T .
-
R e m o v e M 1 d u m m y (c o u n te rw e ig h t),
m ount
M1
c e ll
(w ith o u t
M1 )
a n d
c e n tre M 1 c e ll to O P T .
-

In s e rt M 3 , a d ju s t its tilt in b o th p la n e s a n d p la c e its re fle c tin g s u rfa c e o n th e in te rs e c tio n o f A L T w ith O P T .

-
M o u n t M 1 , a d ju s t tilt o f th e M1 c e ll t o
e lim in a te
d e c e n trin g
com a
o n
a
n a tu ra l s ta r ("T e c h n ic a l F irs t L ig h t").

T h e la s t s te p a b o v e is th e fin a l o n e in th e p a s s iv e a lig n m e n t. In fa c t, it c o u ld n o t b e c o m p le te d a t th a t s ta g e a s th e im a g e a n a ly s e r (o u r o ff- lin e te s t s y s te m c a lle d

"A N T A R E S ") w a s

n o t y e t a v a il- a b le a t th a t tim e w ith a C C D d e te c to r. A t th a t s ta g e , th e re fo re , n o

a tte m p t w a s
m a d e t o a d ju s t th e M 1 c e ll b u t a b o u t? h
o f th e
c o n s id e r a b le
com a
( w h ic h
w as
n o rm a l a n d e x p e c te d a t th is s ta g e w ith -
o u t
a d ju s tm e n t
o f
th e
M I
c e ll) w a s
c o r r e c te d b y a v is u a l in s p e c tio n
o f th e
d e fo c u s e d

im a g e a n d b y u s in g th e fu ll r a n g e a v a ila b le o f th e M 2 x - y m o v e m e n t fo r

fin e
com a
c o rre c tio n .

" T e c h n ic a l F irs t L ig h t" w a s c e le b ra te d o n 1 5 F e b ru - a ry w ith a n im a g e o nT Vo f J u p ite r, w ith m o d e s t s e e in g a n d a t a z e n ith d is ta n c e o f a b o u t 5 0 ".

T h e F in a l E ffo rt: T rim m in g th e
N T T O p tic s to th e L im it
T h e fin a l s ta g e o f th e s e ttin g u p a n d
o p tim iz a tio n
o f
th e
o p tic s
n e a r
th e
z e n ith w a s a c c o m p lis h e d
b y th e a b o v e
te a m
a n d
L o th a r
N o e th e
i n
a
1 6 -d a y
m is s io n
e n d in g
o n
2 3
M a rc h .
L o th a r
p la y e d
th e
c e n tra l ro le
a s
th e

p e rs o n re s p o n s ib le fo r th e e n tire s o ftw a re a n d im a g e

a n a ly s is
s id e , fo llo w in g
u p
th e
w o rk
o n
th e
1 m
e x p e r im e n t a n d
th e
a c c e p ta n c e
o f
th e
o p tic s
a t
th e
m a n u fa c tu re rs , C a rl Z e is s .

T h e firs t e s s e n tia l s te p w a s t o g e t th e im a g e a n a ly s is w o r k in g . T h is w a s r a p id - ly

a c h ie v e d
w ith
n o
s ig n ific a n t

p ro b - le m s . G a e ta n o A n d r e o n i o f L a S illa b e - c a m e a n in v a lu a b le m e m b e r o f o u r te a m a n d w o rk e d w ith u s th e w h o le tim e .

T h e
im a g e
a n a ly s is
c o n firm e d
im -
m e d ia te ly
th e
am ount
o f
d e c e n trin g
c o m a w e h a d e x p e c te d fro m
th e p re v i-
o u s
m is s io n . T h e
C om a3
(d e c e n trin g
c o m a ) c o e ffic ie n t
w as
e v a lu a te d
fro m
th e
m ean
o f
m any
m e a s u re m e n ts
a s

a b o u t 1 2 ,8 0 0 n m o r4 .5a rc s e c w ith z e ro c o rre c tio n (c e n tra l p o s itio n ), o f th e x -y m o v e m e n t o f M 2 . U s in g th e c a lib r a tio n v a lu e g iv e n b y B e rn a rd D e la b re fro m th e o p tic a l d e s ig n o f th e te le s c o p e , it c o u ld b e d e d u c e d th a t th eM I c e ll h a d t o b e tilte d b y a b o u t2a rc m in to c o rre c t th is la r g e c o m a . T h is

is a
m e a s u re o f th e
e x tre m e
s e n s itiv ity
o f
p a s s iv e

te le - s c o p e s t o d e c e n trin g c o m a , s in c e th is is a q u ite s m a ll a n g le a n d w e ll w ith in th e m e c h a n ic a l to le ra n c e s o f th e te le s c o p e . A

m a x im u m
o f
2,5 m m
h a d
t o
b e

m a c h in e d o ff t h e fle x io n b a r fe e t h o ld in g th e M 1 c e ll in o rd e r to a c h ie v e th is tilt. T h e

b ig g e s t
p ro b le m
w as
t o
in te rp re t

th e p h y s ic a l o rie n ta tio n o f th e c o m a in th e te le s c o p e : a n e rro r h e re w o u ld h a v e m e a n t th e w h o le o p e ra tio n

o f lo w e r in g th e c e ll a n d m a c h in in g th e fle x io n b a r s w o u ld h a v e to b e re p e a te d ! It w a s th e re - fo re w ith a fe e lin g o f g re a t re lie f th a t w e s a w

th e c o n firm a tio n
o f th e o rie n ta tio n
w hen
th e
firs t
im a g e
a n a ly s is s h o w e d
th a t th e c o m a h a d b e e n re d u c e d t o le s s
th a n o n e te n th o f its o rig in a l v a lu e .
T h is fo rm a lly
c o m p le te d th e

p a s s iv e a d ju s tm e n t o f th e te le s c o p e . It re m a in e d t o o p tim iz e its p e rfo rm a n c e in th e z e n ith b y th e d c

a c tiv e o p tic s c o rre c tio n ,i.e .
th e c o rre c tio n o f re s id u a l fix e d e rro rs .
T h e N ig h t o f " 'F ir s t L ig h t"
A p a rt fro m

o n e e ffe c t, th e im a g e a n a l- y s is h a d b r o u g h t n o s u r p r is e s . T h is o n e e ffe c t w a s a

re s id u a l o f a x i-s y m m e tric
(s p h e ric a l) a b e rra tio n
w h ic h
w as
som e
fiv e tim e s la rg e r th a n th e m a x im u m
w e
h a d
e x p e c te d . V a ria tio n s o f th is

v a lu e c o u ld b e e x p la in e d b y a h o t- a ir b u b b le e ffe c t

o n
th e
p rim a ry , b u t a fix e d
re -
s id u a l o f
a b o u t
0 .5
a rc s e c
re m a in e d .
T h is
e x c e e d e d
th e
p a s s iv e

s p e c ific a - tio n . B e c a u s e its c o rre c tio n a b s o rb e d a m u c h la rg e r p a rt o f o u r to ta l a c tiv e d y - n a m ic

ra n g e
th a n
w e
e x p e c te d ,
it
p ro v e d
m ost convenient to correct us-
in g
th e
"n a tu ra l
m o d e ",
a
s y s te m
o f
m o d a l fo rm u la tio n s u g g e s te d b y N o e th e
a n d
S c h n e e rm a n n fo r th e
V L T . In th is

w a y , th is a b e rra tio n a s w e ll a s th e o th e r fa ir ly s m a ll r e s id u a ls w e re a ll r e d u c e d to v a lu e s

w ith in
o n e
te n th
of an

a rc s e c , in c lu d in g th e re s id u e o f c o m a . T h is re - q u ire d

th e
a v e r a g in g
o f
te n
o r
m ore

m e a s u re m e n ts . W e w e re h e lp e d b y th e fa c t th a t, d u rin g th e n ig h ts le a d in g u p to "F irs t L ig h t" o n 2 2 -2 3

M a rc h , th e e x te r-
n a l s e e in g w a s e x tr e m e ly g o o d .
O n
2 0
M a rc h
w e
c o u ld
a lre a d y
a n n o u n c e th a t th e
"IN T R IN S IC Q U A L I-
T Y "o f th e te le s c o p e o p tic s(8 0%

o f th e lig h t o f a s ta r c o n c e n tra te d in a b o u t 0 .1 5 a rc s e c ) h a d a lre a d y b e e n re a c h e d . T h is d c m o d u la tio n o f th eM1a c tiv e s u p p o rt w as

th e n
in tro d u c e d
in to
th e
s p r in g s
p r o v id e d
a n d
re m a in s n o w
a s
a
fix e d
A
R e v o lu tio n in G r o u n d
T h e s e fo u r
im a g e s
illu s tra te th e
im p o r-
ta n c e
o f
im p r o v in g
th e
re s o lu tio n
of as-
tro n o m ic a l im a g e s . T h e y d e m o n s tra te
th e
g re a t p o te n tia l o f th e E S O N e w T e c h n o lo g y
T e le s c o p e(N lT ), in te rm s
o f fin e r d e ta ils
a n d
fa in te r
lim itin g
m a g n itu d e ,
a s
com -
p a re d t o o th e r te le s c o p e s .

T h e fie ld s h o w n is n e a r th e c e n tre o f th e b r ig h t s o u th e rn g lo b u la r c lu s te rwC e n ta u ri. It m e a s u re s1 2x 1 2a rc s e c o n d s a n d c o v - e rs a b o u t1 /1 6o f th e a re a o f a C C D fra m e , o b ta in e d w ith th e N T T o n th e n ig h t o f " F irs t L ig h t", s e e th e p ic tu re o n p a g e1 .

T h e firs t (u p p e r le ft) p ic tu r e is a n e n la rg e -
m e n t o f a p h o to g r a p h ic p la te o b ta in e d
in
1 9 8 4
w ith
th e
E S O
S c h m id t
te le s c o p e
u n d e r s e e in g
c o n d itio n s
m e d io c re
b y
L a
S illa s ta n d a r d s( -
2a rc s e c ). T h e e x p o s u re
tim e
w as
1 0
m in
o n

u n s e n s itiz e d , b lu e - s e n s itiv e I lla - J e m u ls io n b e h in d a G G4 9 5 filte r

(s p e c tra l
ra n g e
5 0 0- 5 4 0 n m ). T h e
o r ig in a l im a g e s c a le is6 7 .5a rc s e c /m m ; i.e .
th e
fie ld
show n
c o rre s p o n d s
t o
0 .1 8
x
0 .1 8m m
o n th e o rig in a l3 0x
3 0c m
p la te .
In o th e r w o rd s , a b o u t2 .6
m illio n fie ld s o f
th is
s iz e
a re
c o n ta in e d
o n
th e
S c h m id t
p la te .
N e x t (u p p e r rig h t) fo llo w s
a n

e x c e lle n t p h o to g ra p h ic p la te o b ta in e d a t th eC asse- g ra in fo c u s o f th e

E S O3 .6 m
te le s c o p e in
1 9 7 7 .T h e
e x p o s u re
la s te d
6
m in
1 5s e c
a n d
th e
s e e in g
w as
-
1

a rc s e c o n d . T h e e m u ls io n w a sI lla - J a n d n o filte r w a s u s e d (s p e c tra l ra n g e

3 0 0 -5 4 0
n m ). T h e
im a g e
s c a le
is
7 .2
a rc s e c /m m ;
o n
th e
o r ig in a l
6
x
6c m
p la te
th is
fie ld
m e a s u re s
1 .7x 1 .7m m .
A
I 0s e c
u n filte re d
C C D
e x p o s u re
w as

m a d e w ith th e N T T a t th e m o m e n t o f "F irs t L ig h t" o n M a rc h 23, 1989;a s m a ll p a rt o f it is

show n
h e re
in
tw o
v e rs io n s . T h e
firs t
(lo w e r le ft) is th e "ra w "1 0 0
x
1 0 0 p ix e l im -
a g e ( p ix e l s iz e0 .1 2 3a rc s e c o n d s ). T h e F u ll
W id th a t H a lf M a x im u m
(F W H M ), a s m e a -

s u re d d ire c tly o n th e s te lla r im a g e s in th e fram e is0 .3 3 a rc s e c o n d s . T o th is v a lu e , th e N 7 T o p tic s c o n trib u te d p e rh a p s0 .1 5 a rc - s e c o n d s , s o th a t th e a c tu a l, a tm o s p h e ric a l- ly

in d u c e d s e e in g
m ay
h a v e
b e e n
b e tte r
th a n0 .3a r c s e c o n d s , a s p e c ta c u la r v a lu e ,
even by La S illa s ta n d a r d s .
A t
th e
lo w e r
rig h t, th e
sam e
fra m e
is
s h o w n a fte r "s h a rp e n in g " b y a d v a n c e d im -
a g e
p ro c e s s in g .
F o r th is , th e
fra m e
w as
s u b je c te d
t o
d e c o n v o lu tio n
w ith
a
p o in t
s p re a d
fu n c tio n ,
w h ic h
w as
e m p ir ic a lly
c o n s tru c te d fro m
5 0p ro file s o f u n c o n ta m i-
n a te d s te lla r im a g e s a n d a t th e s a m e tim e
.b a s e d D ir e c t-im a g in g R e s
re s a m p le d a t1 /5 o f th e
p ix e l s iz e in b o t h
d ire c tio n s . T h e F W H M is n o w
im p ro v e d to
0 .1 8
a rc s e c o n d s ;
th e
s te lla r
im a g e s
a re

n o tic e a b ly s h a rp e r a n d fa in t s ta rs a re m u c h b e tte r v is ib le . T o fa c ilita te th e c o m p a ris o n , th e in te n s ity s c a le is th e s a m e in b o t h N T T fra m e s .

T h e im a g e p r o c e s s in g w a s m a d e b yD ie t-
ric h
B a a d e
a t th e
E S O
M lD A S
fa c ility
in
G a rc h in g w ith
a n a lg o rith m
d e v e lo p e d
b y
Leon Lucy. About3h o u rsV A X 8 6 0 0C P U
tim e w a s n e e d e d t o p e rfo rm
2 0ite ra tio n s ;

th is tim e c a n o f c o u rs e b e s ig n ific a n tly re - d u c e d w ith o th e r c o m p u te rs , o p tim iz e d fo r "n u m b e r-c ru n c h in g ".

T h e im p ro v e m e n t in re s o lu tio n is d ra m a - tic , a s illu s tra te d fo r in s ta n c e b y th e trip le s ta r, ju s t rig h t o f th e fie ld c e n tre . T h e d is - ta n c e b e tw e e n th e t w o c o m p o n e n ts w h ic h

a re c lo s e s t t o e a c h o th e r, is o n ly0 .7 9a rc -
s e c o n d s .
T h e
S c h m id t
p ic tu re
d o e s
n o t
in d ic a te
a n y
m u ltip lic ity , th e
3 .6m

b a re ly re s o lv e s th e s y s te m , w h ile th e N IT shows th e th re e c o m p o n e n ts , w e ll d e ta c h e d fro m e a c h o th e r. N o te a ls o th e re s o lu tio n o f th e d o u b le s y s te m

n e a r th e lo w e r b o rd e r, h e re
th e d is ta n c e is0 .5 9a rc s e c o n d s .
S in c e th e lig h t is b e tte r c o n c e n tra te d o n
th e
d e te c to r,
th e
h ig h e r
re s o lu tio n
a ls o

le a d s t o fa in te r lim itin g m a g n itu d e s . T h e1 0 s e c o n d N T T e x p o s u re re a c h e s a b o u t m a g - n itu d e2 0 .A s im p le e x tra p o la tio n th e n p re - d ic ts th a t a lim itin g m a g n itu d e w e ll b e y o n d

2 7 m a g m a y b e re a c h e d w ith th e N T T w ith in
a re a s o n a b le e x p o s u re tim e . T h e

a c tu a lly a c h ie v a b le v a lu e w ill o f c o u r s e a ls o d e p e n d o n o th e r fa c to rs , lik e th e

sky background
a n d th e a c c u ra c y o f th e tra c k in g .
c o rre c tio n .
T h e
p a s s iv e
c o rre c tio n
o f
com a
h a d
b e e n
s o
a c c u ra te
th a t
th e
fin a la c tiv ec o r r e c tio n e s ta b lis h e d
o n ly
re q u ire d x , y
m o v e m e n ts o f 0 .1 7 6 m m
a n d
0 .0 3 1 m m
r e s p e c tiv e ly ,
o n ly
tin y
fra c tio n s o f th e n o m in a l ra n g e a v a ila b le
o f
3-5m m . A lth o u g h th e re la tiv e ly la rg e
v a lu e
o f s p h e ric a l a b e rra tio n
o r ig in a lly
fo u n d
h a s b e e n a c tiv e ly fu lly c o r r e c te d

a n d th e re fo re d o e s n o t fin a lly w o rry u s , it is s till im p o rta n t t o u n d e rs ta n d its o ri- g in . T h is w ill b e in v e s tig a te d fu r th e r .

T h e C C D o f th e

im a g e a n a ly s e r w a s d is m o u n te d a n d s e t u p v ia a4 5 "m irro r d ir e c tly

in th e te le s c o p e

fo c u s . O n th e e v e n in g o f2 2M a rc h w e w e re re a d y fo r "F irs t L ig h t" in th e tru e s e n s e o f th e firs t a s tro n o m ic a l im a g e s w ith th e o p tim iz e d

o p tic a l s y s te m . T h e fie ld
a v a ila b le w ith
d ir e c t im a g in g o n t h e C C D w a s o n ly4 7
a rc s e c , s o a c c o u n t h a d to

b e ta k e n o f th is in s e le c tin g o b je c ts .Afu rth e r im p o r- ta n t p a ra m e te r w a s th e e x p o s u re tim e .

A
tru e ju d g e m e n t o f th e

q u a lity o f th e te le s c o p e im a g e a lw a y s r e q u ir e s a n e x - p o s u re

tim e
w h ic h
in te g ra te s
o u t
th e
e x te rn a l s e e in g . W ith v e ry g o o d s e e in g ,

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