A Partnership in Observational and Computational Astronomy

Summer Interns Observe At KPNO

May 31- June 2, 2012

Kitt Peak National Observatory, Tucson, AZ

student interns

Maria Martinez and Will Hernandez began their second POCA summer internship at SC State with a trip to Arizona to observe at Kitt Peak at the end of May 2012. Their 3-night run gathered spectra for the POCA research program , studying RV Tauri and Semiregular variables. Additionally they, toured other telescopes on the mountain including the 4-meter Mayall telescope and the Robotically Controlled Telescope, which is managed by a consortium of schools that includes SC State.

The domes at Kitt Peak were closed during this run for one full night and part of another because of smoke from both a large forest fire in New Mexico as well as a small one only a few miles away. Nonetheless, useful data were acquired on the Coude Feed Telescope during the run.

click on image to enlarge


Maria turns on the FeAr  wavelength comparison source in the slit room of the Coude spectrograph.


Will powers on the Quartz comparison lamp in the slit room  of the Coude Feed Telesccope.

Dr Walter

Dr. Walter points to the setting sun from atop the Coude Feed observing room.


A cloud of smoke in the lower center rises  from a nearby fire and fills the valley, contributing to the closure of the telescopes.

4 meter control

Will and Maria in the control room of the 4-meter Mayall telescope.


Inside the dome of the RCT, standing by the CCD camera below the telescope mirror.