Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Coming Soon: PALM-3000

Much of the behind-the-scenes work at Palomar Observatory lately has been directed toward supporting the upgrades for our new adaptive optics-system, known as PALM-3000. When fully functional, the system is expected to be the first of its kind and allow ground-based astronomers to get their clearest view yet in the visible portion of the spectrum (all other systems currently operate in the near infrared portion of the spectrum).

We had the final components for the system delivered to the dome of the Hale Telescope today.

These may look like just a bunch of crates, but inside are the final components that will be installed to bring this system alive.

More on this amazing system, which is expected to achieve "first light" later this month, will be posted here over the next few weeks, but in the meantime feel free to read this article on the systems new deformable mirror.

2 comments:

Bob said...

I'm looking forward to reading more. Will this be a permanent installation on the 200 in.(at least until next generation is available)or is the system being installed for a specific project?

Scott Kardel said...

Bob, PALM-3000 will be a facility instrument for astronomers to use here at Palomar for years to come. One of the early projects will be the direct imaging of exoplanets.