Previous abstract Next abstract
Session 44 - Double Stars.
Display session, Thursday, January 08
In the past, bare (unintensified) CCDs have not been widely used in speckle imaging for two main reasons: 1) the readout rate of most scientific-grade CCDs is too slow to be able to observe at the high frame rates necessary to capture speckle patterns efficiently, and 2) the read noise of CCDs limits the detectability of fainter objects where it becomes difficult to distinguish between speckles and noise peaks in the image. These facts have led to the current supremacy of intensified imaging systems (such as intensified-CCDs) in this field, which can typically be read out at video rates or faster. We have developed a new approach that uses a large format CCD not only to detect the incident photons but also to record many speckle patterns before the chip is read out. This approach effectively uses the large area of the CCD as a physical ``memory cache'' of previous speckle data frames. The method is described, and binary star observations from the University of Toronto Southern Observatory 60-cm telescope and the Wisconsin-Indiana-Yale-NOAO (WIYN) 3.5-m telescope are presented. Plans for future observing and instrumentation improvements are also outlined.
Program listing for Thursday