Resumption of Open-Use Observations at Prime Focus with Suprime-Cam
(July 16, 2012 Hawaii Time)
Open-use observations utilizing the Subaru Prime Focus Camera (Suprime-Cam) resumed on the night of July 15, 2012. Careful cleaning and restoration of Suprime-Cam and its auxiliary optics have taken place since the July 2, 2011 incident when leakage of the coolant ethylene glycol affected the prime focus unit (POpt). Based on recommendations from the NAOJ's Inquiry Panel, additional safety features are now in place to prevent a recurrence of leakage.
Test run observations using Suprime-Cam took place earlier, and they verified the instrument's performance. Long awaited resumption of the open-use observations resumed on July 15, 2012. Suprime-Cam and its many specialized narrow band filters are now available for open use.
This instrument is an optical imager with a wide field of view (a field of 35 arcminutes x 27 arcminutes, the size of the entire full Moon) utilizing 10 CCDs that provides a total of 80 million pixels. Its capability of efficiently surveying a large portion of the sky has enabled researchers to detect a variety of interesting objects and to contribute to research on such areas as far distant galaxies, the distribution of dark matter, the outer portion of the Solar System, and the gravitational lens effect.
- POpt Unit
The prime focus unit consists of an auxiliary system, an instrument rotator, and an active cable wrap system. Several instruments can be mounted at prime focus: Suprime-Cam, Hyper-Suprime Cam, and FMOS (Faint Multi-Object Spectrograph). One of the secondary mirrors can also be mounted at prime focus to assist in observations at other focal points.
Figure: Suprime-Cam offered at the prime focus of the Subaru Telescope.
National Astronomical Observatory of Japan