Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

U of Utah Celebrates 'First Light' for New Observatory

05.11.2009
The University of Utah will celebrate the initial observations or “first light” of its new $860,000 research telescope in southwest Utah during a Wednesday, Nov. 11 symposium and reception on the Salt Lake City campus.

The new Willard L. Eccles Observatory’s 32-inch reflecting telescope took its first pictures the night of Oct. 15. The “first light” photo is an edge-on view of the spiral galaxy NGC 891, says Wayne Springer, who heads the project and is an associate professor of physics and astronomy.

The new observatory, with a telescope built by DFM Engineering, is located at an elevation of about 9,600 feet on Frisco Peak, near Milford, Utah.

To celebrate initial operation of the observatory, the university’s Department of Physics and Astronomy will hold a “first light” celebration on Nov. 11, with a symposium at 4 p.m. in room 103 of the James Fletcher Building, followed by a 5 p.m. reception in the building’s rotunda. The public and news media are invited.

Springer says sources of the observatory’s funding included $600,000 from the Willard L. Eccles Foundation, $160,000 from the Ezekiel R. and Edna W. Dumke Foundation, $40,000 from the university and another $60,000 yet to be raised.

He also is applying for a $300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation so the Frisco Peak telescope can be operated by remote control from campus, 250 miles away. Springer hopes it can be operated remotely by the end of summer 2010.

The university announced plans for the telescope in 2006, and Springer says he is “relieved, excited and exuberant” that it has started observing the sky.

For several months, astronomers mainly will be “tweaking it” – making adjustments and calibrations and evaluating observing conditions, he says. Scientific observations should begin in earnest next spring, and Springer says he hopes students will be able to use it even sooner – if another grant is approved for a tracked, all-terrain vehicle needed to reach the observatory during the snowy months.

“I’m very excited about the possibilities with an observatory located on a mountaintop in a region with dark skies,” he says. “We will certainly utilize the facility for education of students and for public outreach opportunities,” including star parties in Salt Lake City that will use the telescope by remote control.

Contacts:
-- Wayne Springer, associate professor of physics and astronomy – office (801) 585-1390, cellular (801) 913-9084, springer@physics.utah.edu (Available only by cell until Nov. 9.)
-- Dave Kieda, chair and professor of physics and astronomy – office (801) 581-3538, cellular (801) 518-2548, kieda@physics.utah.edu (Available only via cell this week.)
-- Lee Siegel, science news specialist, University of Utah Public Relations –
office (801) 581-8993, cellular (801) 244-5399, leesiegel@ucomm.utah.edu

Lee Siegel | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.utah.edu

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht New quantum phenomena in graphene superlattices
19.09.2017 | Graphene Flagship

nachricht Solar wind impacts on giant 'space hurricanes' may affect satellite safety
19.09.2017 | Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

Im Focus: Fast, convenient & standardized: New lab innovation for automated tissue engineering & drug

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...

Im Focus: Silencing bacteria

HZI researchers pave the way for new agents that render hospital pathogens mute

Pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics to an ever increasing degree. One of the most difficult germs is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a...

Im Focus: Artificial Enzymes for Hydrogen Conversion

Scientists from the MPI for Chemical Energy Conversion report in the first issue of the new journal JOULE.

Cell Press has just released the first issue of Joule, a new journal dedicated to sustainable energy research. In this issue James Birrell, Olaf Rüdiger,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

New quantum phenomena in graphene superlattices

19.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A simple additive to improve film quality

19.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>