Macquarie University Mounts Huntsman Telescope to Chase Elusive Galaxy Clues
Macquarie University, with Canon Australia, officially mounted the Huntsman Telescope on July 22, 2022, at the Siding Spring Observatory near Coonabarabran, NSW. With the unveiling of this new stargazing tool, astronomers and scientists now have an additional set of eyes to look deep in the southern skies for elusive galaxy clues.
©The Huntsman Telescope in its dome, located at Siding Spring Observatory, Coonabarabran
The Huntsman Telescope was developed by Macquarie University to search for explanations for unique galaxy evolution and formation. This one of its kind spyglass is made up of 10 commercially available Canon EF 400mm f/2.8 L IS II super-telephoto lenses designed to answer how galaxies form and grow, and how they interact with structures around them, and what happens when they collide.
The observations made with the Huntsman Telescope are important in understanding what might happen should the Milky Way Galaxy gets into a head-on collision with the Andromeda Galaxy – a phenomenon theorised to occur in 4.5 billion years, according to Dr Lee Spitler, from Macquarie University’s School of Mathematical & Physical Sciences and Australian Astronomical Optics- Macquarie.
Eliminating the Obscure
The Hunstman Telescope was an AAO & Macquarie University project inspired by the US Dragonfly Telephoto Array.
Currently mounted at about 1,165 metres (3,822 ft) above sea level in the Warrumbungle National Park on Mount Woorat, the telescope has lenses with superb anti-reflection properties and are designed to deliver sharper images and fewer chromatic aberrations.
The coated lens array was based on Canon’s patented nano-fabricated coatings with sub-wavelength structures on optical glasses. Equipped with a single monolithic wide-field detector, the Huntsman can achieve extremely accurate modelling of the night sky emission and produce ultra-clear renderings of the universe.
The Huntsman’s anti-reflection and second-generation Canon EF coated lens features can help tone down structures and will allow astronomers to study any faint, extended obstructions around galaxies.
A Spyglass for the Future
“For 80 years, Canon has been committed to developing precision optical technologies that exceed the needs of our customers, and we’re proud that our EF-lenses will play a role in helping Australian scientists tackle some of the most critical questions in astronomy today.”
The Huntsman Telescope is a collaboration of Australian Scientists and tech experts and Macquarie University opens the opportunity for anyone who wants to get involved.
You can contact Lee Spitler, the Principal Investigator of Huntsman if you are :
- An astronomer interested in collaborating
- Interested in any general or technical questions about Huntsman
- Keen in knowing more about Huntsman
- An undergrad with a strong background in astronomy, physics, statistics or computing and interested in working on a summer or winter project or as a Masters or PhD student
- Turn off lights when not in use
- Avoid using very bright lights
- Hang light fixtures under an awning
- Install lights downward
- Get outside, look up and enjoy the stars.
The Huntsman Telescope will be a part of the annual StarFest and will be open to the public on 1 October 2022.
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