AAS 204th Meeting, June 2004
Session 35 Professional-Amateur Collaboration for Enhanced Research
Topical Session, Tuesday, June 1, 2004, 8:30-10:00am, 10:45am-12:30pm, 710/712

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[35.11] Surveying the Southern Sky with a Robotic Camera

J. E. Gaustad (Swarthmore College), W. Rosing (Las Cumbres Obs.)

The Southern H-Alpha Sky Survey Atlas (SHASSA) is a wide-angle imaging survey of the southern sky at 656.3 nm wavelength, the H-alpha emission line of hydrogen. Each image of the survey (http://amundsen.astro.swarthmore.edu/SHASSA/) covers an area of the sky 13 square at an angular resolution of approximately one arcminute, and reaches a sensitivity level of 2 rayleigh. The survey was done with a CCD detector, a commercial camera lens, and narrow-band interference filters, mounted on a robotic telescope platform located at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile. This project is an example of how amateurs and professionals can combine their technical, scientific, and organizational talents to produce high quality science. We will discuss the history of the project, what worked well in the amateur-professional collaboration, and what we would do differently next time.


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