F/5 progress, April 2009

N2808 with Minicam at Magellan

Magellan telescope staff, with engineers from the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) and Harvard University, commissioned the f/5 Cassegrain focal plane on the Magellan Clay telescope at Las Campanas Observatory in April 2009. The above photo of a globular cluster (NGC 2808; colorized by Nelson Caldwell) was taken with the Minicam test imager in preparation for Megacam deployment later in 2009.

The f/5 focus enables two important new instruments at Magellan: The SAO Megacam, a 324-megapixel imager, and the SAO MMT and Magellan Infrared Spectrograph (MMIRS), a near-infrared multi-object spectrograph essential for studies of the high-redshift universe and nearby brown dwarfs.

Povilas Palunas and the F/5 secondary mirror

The 66-inch diameter secondary mirror (photo above), one of the world’s largest, was built by the University of Arizona’s Steward Observatory Mirror Lab and integrated with the telescope by Carnegie engineers. SAO provided the 4-element optical corrector lens system that enables wide field performance.