Astronomical Instrumentation and Facilities

Wisconsin-Indiana-Yale-NOAO (WIYN) 0.9 m Telescope.

This past year LAMA began providing financial assistance to help pay RIT’s share of the university consortium that owns and operates the Wisconsin-Indiana-Yale-NOAO 0.9 m telescope, which is located at Kitt Peak National Observatory near Tucson, AZ. Each year, LAMA’s Richmond supervises a group of RIT students in observing at WIYN, with LAMA providing supplementary student travel support. This observing season’s run was scheduled for January, 2014, to take advantage of the first winter semester intersession period in RIT’s history.

RIT’s new spectrograph.

In 2013, AST Ph.D. students Vasquez and Rapson began characterizing and testing the LHIRES III optical spectrograph they purchased via a combination of LAMA funds and a Center for Imaging Science (CIS) “microgrant”. The spectrograph was successfully installed on the Vasquez Astronomical Observatory (VAO) in Spring 2013, and used to obtain test spectra of standard stars and nearby young star candidates. In summer 2013, Vasquez and Rapson supervised two CIS high school interns in the reduction and analysis of stellar spectra obtained with LHIRES.