Resumption of Open Use Observations at Primary Focus with an Infrared Instrument

(October 21, 2011 Hawaii Time)

All of the Subaru Telescope's four foci are now operational. Subaru Telescope resumed open use operation of the primary focus on September 22nd, following a verification observation on September 20th. Three other foci have been in service: the two Nasmyth foci since July 22nd and the Cassegrain focus since August 26th. The instrument available at the primary focus is the FMOS (Fiber Multi-Object Spectrograph).

Although the auxiliary system unit for infrared observations at the primary focus is different from the one for optical observations, these two units share a few mechanisms for their operation. Therefore, some additional safety measures were implemented for this auxiliary system unit before resuming its operation on the telescope.

The Suprime-Cam and the auxiliary system for optical observations are being repaired and will become available in 2012.


- FMOS (Fiber Multi-Object Spectrograph)
FMOS is the most powerful, wide-field near-infrared spectroscopy system available on any telescope; it is the only instrument that enables near-infrared spectroscopy of as many as 400 objects at the same time. It has been used for extensive studies of distant galaxies and quasars as well as for observations of numerous stars in galactic star clusters.

- Auxiliary System
An auxiliary system accompanies each focal station of the Subaru Telescope. It includes the auto-guider, the Shack-Hartmann camera, the image rotator for Nasmyth foci, the instrument rotator for primary and Cassegrain foci, and the atmospheric dispersion corrector (ADC). There are two auxiliary systems for the primary focus, one for the optical, and the other for the infrared instrument.

Subaru Telescope and Its Instruments at Prime Focus.

Figure: Instruments offered at the prime focus of the Subaru Telescope. FMOS is available. Suprime-Cam is in the process of restoration.

National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

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