To purchase a standard BVRI filter set for the new CCD camera, using a Ford-JPL 1024×1024 chip, to be installed on the NF/Observatory’s 45 cm telescope. The filter set is needed to obtain photometric data on extragalactic supernova to supplement studies at Kitt Peak where telescope time for detailed supernova light curves has been limited. The telescope’s automated operation would allow data collection for a number of projects. Photometric data will also be obtained on clusters.
Grant Recipients in 1990
Grant Recipients $11,233
To acquire a special set of Johnson BVRI filters for Michigan-Dartmouth-M.I.T. (MDM) Observatory to study interacting and binary galaxies. MDM Observatory is a consortium of three universities that operate a 1.3 meter (McGraw-Hill) telescope and a 2.4 meter (Hiltner) telescope at Kitt Peak Mountain near Tucson, Arizona. This faculty supports over 60 astronomers and graduate students in optical studies ranging from planetary science to observational cosmology.
To purchase a high quality grating, interference filters, and a f/7 dewar lens/window for a facility near-IR cooled grating spectrometer being implemented as part of an effort to substantially enhance the spectroscopic capabilities of the Wyoming Infrared Observatory (WIRO), the Mt. Lemmon (MTL), and the O’Brien (UMO) Observatories. The instrument was to be utilized as part of a plan to survey/monitor old and recent nova shells for the presence and evolution of “coronal line emission.” These infrared spectroscopic observations were expected to provide fundamental new information on the formation and development of dust in the novae ejecta. Furthermore, abundance information provided by the infrared coronal emissions may provide evidence that some novae are capable of condensing grains containing chemical abundance anomalies similar to those found in solar system meteorite inclusions.
To support the implementation of a dedicated, astronomical image-processing workstation that will complement a recently acquired research grade CCD camera to be mounted on a 0.4 meter instrument at Baker Observatory in southern Missouri. The workstation will be used to host the Image Reduction and Analysis Facility (IRAF) software package for the purpose of data reduction in connection with photometric studies of nearby bright galaxies and open star clusters.
To purchase a photoelectric photometer for the University of Montana’s Blue Mountain Observatory. The Observatory’s old photometer is obsolete, and the purchase of a new photometer is a first step in a plan to turn the facility into a research-class observatory to be used by astronomers and students throughout the state of Montana.
To purchase two specially designed intermediate-band filters for use in broad-band CCD photometry to conduct a magnitude-limited survey for cool white dwarf stars for the purpose of materially improving the definition of the white dwarf luminosity function–the number of white dwarfs found at differing surface temperatures–which is a record of past star formation in our galaxy and provides a means of independently determining our galaxy’s age. The goal is the discovery of many more cool white dwarfs, whose distribution will provide crucial information about the age of the galactic disk and ultimately the galactic halo. A self-consistent measure of the disk and halo ages of our galaxy will provide strict constraints on theories of galaxy formation and evolution.