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Session 41 - Visible & UV Telescopes.
Display session, Thursday, January 08
Exhibit Hall,

[41.17] First Light Achieved at the new Mt.Evans High Altitude Observatory

R. E. Stencel (U.Denver)

During August 1997, first light images were obtained with the new Meyer Binocular Telescope, a twin 0.72 meter RC system, located at the Meyer- Womble Observatory atop 14,268 ft Mt.Evans, Colorado. The site is along a treeless high ridge which frequently enjoys laminar airflow and good seeing. The telescope and building also include thermal and airflow management systems for seeing optimization. Finally, a 5 element adaptive optics system that is being tested at Yerkes Observatory, should be able to correct the native seeing to nearly the limit of optical performance. For details on all of the above, please refer to my website: rstencel. The high altitude of Mt.Evans makes it ideal for mid-infrared studies, and we anticipate pursuing mid-IR imaging and spectroscopy from this site. Mark 2 of our TNTCAM (Klebe et al.-this meeting) is now in design stage, thanks to an NSF MRI grant. The spectrometer, TGIRS (Creech-Eakman et al. 1996 BAAS 28: 1372) has also achieved first light in the lab. We plan to use both at the new mountaintop facility. Another interesting feature of the new observatory is its photovoltaic energy supply for continuous power, sponsored in part by the Renewable Energy Trust, National Renewable Energy Lab and the Colorado Office of Energy Conservation. Denver University is interested in forming partnerships with other programs in order to make best use of this new resource for educational research in astronomy and astrophysics. This can include REU-style student summer visits, instrument testing and/or observational studies. I am pleased to acknowledge sponsorship by the Estate of William Herschel Womble, and the Meyer Foundation.

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