From NOAO: “NEID Extreme Precision Radial Velocity Spectrometer on Track for Installation at WIYN in 2019”

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From NOAO

11.7.18

NEID chamber for the WIYN telescope. Photos courtesy of NOAO WIYN and Washburn Labs-University of Wisconsin.

The cornerstone of a partnership between NSF and NASA to advance exoplanet science, the NEID extreme precision radial velocity spectrometer is on schedule to be installed and commissioned at the 3.5-m WIYN telescope starting in April 2019 and to be available to the community in the 2019B semester.

Radial Velocity Method-Las Cumbres Observatory

Radial velocity Image via SuperWasp http:// http://www.superwasp.org/exoplanets.htm

NOAO WIYN 3.5 meter telescope at Kitt Peak, AZ, USA, Altitude 2,096 m (6,877 ft)

NOAO WIYN 3.5 meter telescope at Kitt Peak, AZ, USA, Altitude 2,096 m (6,877 ft)

Kitt Peak National Observatory of the Quinlan Mountains in the Arizona-Sonoran Desert on the Tohono O’odham Nation, 88 kilometers 55 mi west-southwest of Tucson, Arizona, Altitude 2,096 m (6,877 ft)

The aggressive development and deployment schedule is dictated by the main mandate for the project: to support the NASA TESS mission, which launched in April of this year and is already producing data.

NASA/MIT TESS

A WIYN facility instrument, NEID will be available to the exoplanet community for up to approximately 40% of the observing time on the WIYN telescope (roughly 120 nights). Proposals will be accepted through the NOAO TAC process. Additional details about the NASA-NSF partnership and the NEID spectrometer are available in a September 2016 NOAO Newsletter article. A splinter meeting on NEID has been scheduled at the January AAS meeting in Seattle, where the community can learn more about NEID’s capabilities and operation plans.

As part of the instrument development effort, NOAO has been busy designing and fabricating two major subsystems for NEID:

Port Adaptor: A fiber feed to be mounted on the mirror cell at the Bent Cassegrain Port, the Port Adaptor will provide a highly stable, tip-tilt corrected starlight beam with image motion controlled to better than 50 milliarcseconds.

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NEID chamber: Light from the Port Adaptor will be carried by optical fibers down to the ground-floor room where NEID will be housed. The NEID chamber is tightly thermally controlled, to within a tenth of a degree throughout the year, while outside temperatures range from freezing to near 100 degrees.

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See the full article here .


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NOAO is the US national research & development center for ground-based night time astronomy. In particular, NOAO is enabling the development of the US optical-infrared (O/IR) System, an alliance of public and private observatories allied for excellence in scientific research, education and public outreach.

Our core mission is to provide public access to qualified professional researchers via peer-review to forefront scientific capabilities on telescopes operated by NOAO as well as other telescopes throughout the O/IR System. Today, these telescopes range in aperture size from 2-m to 10-m. NOAO is participating in the development of telescopes with aperture sizes of 20-m and larger as well as a unique 8-m telescope that will make a 10-year movie of the Southern sky.

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Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO)

Kitt Peak

Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO) has its headquarters in Tucson and operates the Mayall 4-meter, the 3.5-meter WIYN , the 2.1-meter and Coudé Feed, and the 0.9-meter telescopes on Kitt Peak Mountain, about 55 miles southwest of the city.

Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO)

NOAO Cerro Tolo

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The NOAO System Science Center (NSSC)

Gemini North
Gemini North

Gemini South telescope
Gemini South

The NOAO System Science Center (NSSC) at NOAO is the gateway for the U.S. astronomical community to the International Gemini Project: twin 8.1 meter telescopes in Hawaii and Chile that provide unprecendented coverage (northern and southern skies) and details of our universe.

NOAO is managed by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy under a Cooperative Agreement with the National Science Foundation.