The Thacher School is in the process of renovating the campus observatory with a new meter class telescope and full automation capabilities for the purpose of scientific research and education. New equipment on site has provided a preliminary site characterization including seeing and V-band sky brightness measurements. These data, along with commissioning data from the MINERVA project (which uses comparable hardware) are used to estimate the capabilities of the observatory once renovation is complete. Our V-band limiting magnitude is expected to be better than 21.3 for a one minute integration time, and we estimate that milli-magnitude precision photometry will be possible for a V=14.5 point source over approximately 5 min timescales. The quick response, autonomous operation, and multi-band photometric capabilities of the renovated observatory will make it a powerful follow-up science facility for exoplanets, eclipsing binaries, near-Earth objects, stellar variability, and supernovae.
American Astronomical Society Meeting Abstracts #227
- Pub Date:
- January 2016