AAS 203rd Meeting, January 2004
Session 42 Nearby Stars: Binaries, Theory and the Future
Poster, Tuesday, January 6, 2004, 9:20am-6:30pm, Grand Hall

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[42.09] The ASTRA Spectrophotometer: A Progress Report

S. J. Adelman (The Citadel), A. F. Gulliver (Brandon Univ.), B. Smalley (Keele Univ.), J. S. Pazder (DAO), P. F. Younger (Aurora Astron. Services), L. Boyd, D. Epand (Fairborn Obs.)

A spectrophotometer with a CCD detector and its automated 0.5-m telescope at the Fairborn Observatory, Washington Camp, AZ are currently under construction. They were designed for efficient operations. By the end of 2004, scientific observations should be in progress. The Citadel ASTRA (Automated Spectrophotometric Telescope Research Associates) Telescope will be able to observe Vega the primary standard, make rapid measurements of the naked-eye stars, use 10 min./hour to obtain photometric measurements of the nightly extinction, and obtain high quality observations of V= 10.5 mag. stars in an hour. This cross-dispersed instrument will have an approximate wavelength range of \lambda\lambda3300-9000 with a resolution of 14 Å in first and 7 Å in second order and except for regions badly affected by telluric lines. At the end of the photometric calibration process, filter photometric magnitudes and indices will be calibrated. Some will serve as quality checks.

During the first year of observing a grid of secondary standards will be calibrated differentially with respect to Vega. These stars will also be used to find the nightly extinction. The candidates for this process have been selected from the most stable of the bright secondary stars of the grating scanner era supplemented by the least variable main sequence B0-F0 band stars in Hipparcos photometry and some metal poor stars. Over the lifetime of the instrument, measurements of secondary stars will be used to improve the quality of the secondary standard fluxes. Science observations for major projects such as comparisons with model atmospheres codes and for exploratory investigations should also begin in the first year. The ASTRA team in planning to deal with this potential data flood realize that they will need help to make the best scientific uses of the data. Thus they are interested in discussing possible collaborations. In less than a year of normal observing, all isolated stars in the Bright Star Catalog which can be observed can have their fluxes well measured.

ASTRA Contribution 2. This work is supported by NSF grant AST-0115612 to The Citadel.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: adelmans@citadel.edu

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