Archive for January, 2010

New Red Channel Fully Depeleted Detector

A new fully depleted detector for the Red Channel Spectrograph was commissioned in November 2009.  The plot below shows a comparison of the detector quantum efficiencies of the Blue Channel CCD and the current and previous (deep depletion) generation Red Channel CCDs.

Blue and Red Channel detector QE comparison.


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Instrument Status 2010B

A short summary of the status of each MMT instrument is given below. If you would like any further information regarding any of the instrumentation please contact Morag Hastie (mhastie@mmto).

  • RED CHANNEL: Available. New detector. Contact Grant Williams @MMTO for support.
  • BLUE CHANNEL: Available. Contact Grant Williams @MMTO for support.
  • MMIRS: Unavailable. At Magellan
  • Hectos: Available. Contact Dan Fabricant @CfA for Hectospec and Andy Szentgyorgyi @CfA for Hectochelle.
  • Megacam: Unavailable. At Magellan
  • SWIRC: Available. Contact Warren Brown @CfA
  • ARIES: Available. Contact Don McCarthy @SO
  • CLIO: Available. Recently added ice band (3.1 um) filter and R = 100 prism mode. Contact Phil Hinz @SO
  • PISCES: Available. Contact Don McCarthy @SO
  • MIRAC-BLINC: Available. R = 100 grism mode recently commissioned. Contact Phil Hinz @SO
  • MAESTRO: Available. Shared Risk – contact J. Bechtold @SO
  • SPOL: Available. Please contact Paul Smith @SO

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Applying for Observing 2010B

Applying for Observing Time at the MMTO:

  • Proposal Deadlines for Trimester 2010B (1st May 2010 – 19th July 2010)
  • Note the shortened trimester due to Primary aluminising to take place this summer.

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Construction at the MMT

Construction began on January 11, 2010 on an Instrument Repair Facility at the MMT summit.  It is scheduled to be completed by summer.  Construction is taking place during the weekdays between 8:00am – 5:00pm.  There are no plans for work to be done on weekends.  The construction site is cordoned off with cones or is within a chained-off area. 

Please be aware that construction trucks will be on the Mt. Hopkins road and there could be short delays.  The contractors are using Whipple radios when driving up and down.  Whenever possible, please carpool to minimize traffic and also parking at the summit.  Currently, there is plenty of parking and the goal is to keep parking available for astronomers throughout the construction.  However, please leave keys in vehicles in case they need to be moved.

A webcam showing the construction appears on the MMT homepage in the bottom right-hand corner.  We will continue to post information and progress on the construction on this Blog.

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MMT December Observing Statistics

Percentage of time scheduled for observing               90.0
Percentage of time scheduled for engineering            10.0
Percentage of time scheduled for sec/instr change       0.0
Percentage of time lost to weather                            37.8
Percentage of time lost to instrument                          2.6
Percentage of time lost to telescope                           7.1
Percentage of time lost to general facility                    0.1
Percentage of time lost to environment (non-weather)   0.0
Percentage of time lost                                            47.6

Breakdown of hours lost to telescope:
10.25  Hexapod failure
  7.30  M2 (f/15) problems
  7.00  AO software
  0.50  Gap contamination
  0.50  Thin Shell Safety (TSS) issues

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