Resumption of Open-Use Observations with FOCAS Marks Functionality of Subaru Telescope's Entire Suite of Instruments

(October 24, 2012 Hawaii Time)

A functional test of the Faint Object Camera and Spectrograph (FOCAS) took place the night of October 5, 2012, and open-use observations resumed on the night of October 19, 2012. A year of careful steps took place to assure recovery of FOCAS from the July 2, 2011 coolant incident. Implementation of safety features mandated by the National Astronomical Observatory's Inquiry Panel preceded the testing and observations. The procedures included a thorough check of the entire range of operation of the active cable wrap as well as careful reviews of checklists and instrument installation and operation manuals. The successful operation of FOCAS means that Subaru Telescope's entire suite of observational instruments is in working order. An announcement of full recovery will take place when the primary mirror dons its shiny new coating after its realuminization scheduled for the summer of 2013.

Subaru Telescope and Its Instruments at Cassegrain foci.

Figure: The Faint Object Camera and Spectrograph (FOCAS) is a highly sensitive instrument designed for visible wavelength observations at the Cassegrain focus of the Subaru Telescope. Its multi-object spectrograph enables scientists to observe more than one hundred objects at the same time and to measure the distance to ones very far away from Earth.

National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

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