AAS 203rd Meeting, January 2004
Session 38 Observation and Instrumentation : Optical
Poster, Tuesday, January 6, 2004, 9:20am-6:30pm, Grand Hall

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[38.16] The Discovery Channel Telescope

R. L. Millis, E. W. Dunham, T. A. Sebring (Lowell Observatory)

Lowell Observatory has joined forces with Discovery Communications, Inc. of Silver Spring, MD to build a 4-meter telescope in Northern Arizona. The proposed site is at 7760 ft. altitude at the edge of the Mogollon Rim approximately 40 miles south of Flagstaff, AZ. Intensive DIMM measurements at this site over the past two-and-a-half years have consistently shown median image quality near 0.8 arcsec FWHM. The telescope will have two modes of operation. In survey mode, a prime focus mosaic CCD camera will cover a two-degree-diameter field-of-view. UV/optical spectroscopy, infrared imaging and spectroscopy, and other applications will be supported at the alternate f/6.5 Ritchey-Chretien focus. The ULE primary and secondary mirror blanks are being manufactured by Corning. Goodrich Aerospace is doing the detailed optical design, Vertex RSI is responsible for the design of the telescope's mechanical structure, and M3 is designing the enclosure. Ground-breaking is scheduled for mid-2004 with first light in December 2007. Institutions interested in the possibility of joining this project should contact one of the authors.

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