National Optical Astronomy Observatory
Robotically Controlled Telescope Consortium
At the beginning of the award period there were 3 full time and 1 part time POCA-funded, underrepresented minorites enrolled in the graduate program in astronomy at Clemson. Shortly thereafter, the part time student withdrew for medical reasons. The other 3 have remained with the program. One of those (S. Hampton) successfully defended his M.S. thesis work on April 8, 2013. He will graduate in May 2013. The other two graduate students (A. Delgado-Navarro and J. Lalmansigh) have continued in the program. Lalmansigh will complete his M.S. in August 2013 and seek employment. Delgado-Navarro will take her qualifying Ph.D. exam in the Fall of 2013. Despite recruiting a few potential candidates, no new underrepresented students were enrolled in the graduate program this year./p>
The NOAO/KPNO Coude Feed telescope is being used by SCSU faculty and students for research and in the case of students, for training. The 1.3m RCT is being used by SCSU faculty and students for research and training. The SARA North 0.9m recently had a spectrograph installed and Clemson has offered SCSU access to the spectograph to support its RV Tauri research. Hinkle will acquire high-resolution near-IR spectra with the Phoenix spectrograph on the KPNO 2.1-meter telescope as part of the ground support for the Kepler stars he, Cash and Walter are studying.
SC State is a charter member of the RCT Consortium which has taken over management of the 1.3-meter telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory, approximately 50 miles west of Tucson, Arizona. Faculty members and students use the facility in its robotic mode by submitting observing scripts each night. The telescope carries out the requests without human intervention and delivers the data each morning over the Internet. A wide range of astronomical objects are studied by SC State and its RCT partners from Arizona, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania as well as by other national and international groups.