Telescopes

CSS Telescopes

The Catalina Sky Survey (CSS) telescopes are located in the Santa Catalina Mountains just north of Tucson, Arizona.  CSS utilizes three telescopes owned and managed by Steward Observatory of the University of Arizona.  The 1.5-meter Cassegrain reflector (MPC observatory code = G96) is located on the 9,157-foot summit of Mt. Lemmon, along-side the 1.0-meter reflector.  The 1.0-meter (MPC observatory code = I52) is used to support a variety of NEO follow-up and is remotely operated in a queue-scheduled mode, but also dynamically handles same-night follow-up requests from the CSS survey telescopes.  The 0.7-meter Schmidt telescope (MPC observatory code = 703) is located on Mt. Bigelow, just east of Mt. Lemmon.   These telescopes and detectors are further described here:

1.5-meter Telescope: The 1.5-m survey telescope is an f/1.6 reflector equipped with a 111-megapixel (10,560 x 10,560 pixel) CCD detector mounted at prime focus.  The field of view is 5.0 deg2 with a pixel scale of 0.77”/pixel (unbinned). Covering 1000 square degrees per night with a limiting magnitude V~21.5 images are obtained using a 2 x 2 binning mode with an exposure time of 30s.

The Mt Lemmon Station 1.5-m Schmidt telescope: At bottom left: The 60-inch surveying under moonlit skies, Top left: observer Greg Leonard at the business end of the new 10k x 10k camera, Center: In twilight, G96 stands ready for surveying, Top right: multiple lens elements beneath the camera, Bottom right: Each night begins with the promise of new discoveries.

 

1.0-meter Telescope: The 1.0-m follow-up telescope is an f/2.6 Cassegrain reflector equipped with a 2k x 2k CCD detector.  The field of view is 0.3 deg2 with a pixel scale of 1.03”.  This telescope typically recovers 40-80 targeted NEOs per night with a limiting magnitude V~ 22.0.

The 1m (40 inch) reflector is primarily used for follow-up of NEOs and is operated remotely from CSS Operations Center on the University of Arizona campus..

 

0.7-meter Telescope: The 0.7-m survey telescope is an f/1.8 Schmidt catadioptric equipped with a 111-megapixel (10,560 x 10,560 pixel) CCD detector mounted at prime focus.  The field of view is 19.4 deg2 with a pixel scale of 1.5” (unbinned).  Covering 4000 square degrees per night with a limiting magnitude V~19.5 images are obtained using an exposure time of 30s.

The Mt Bigelow Station 0.7m Schmidt telescope: At left: The Schmidt open for business under starry skies, as an Iridium flare streaks overhead, Center: Surveying the skies, Top right: Schmidt corrector plate, sans baffle, Bottom right: Winter day on Mt Bigelow.

 

The 61" Kuiper telescope and the CSS Schmidt under starry skies at Mt Bigelow Station.