Mt. Wilson 2023 - "Automating" the 1.5-meter telescope
Semi-automated speckle interferometry observations taken at Mt. Wilson in June 2023
Speckle interferometry targets were observed with the 1.5-meter telescope at Mt. Wilson in a more automated manner compared to previous years. Through use of our custom N.I.N.A. plugin and two network-connected custom virtual ASCOM telescopes to transmit telescope and dome positional information, observations required minimal human intervention, aside from an experienced operator driving the historic telescope’s motors. This allowed for a high degree of efficiency compared to the manual imaging done in the past.
Several teams of students were instructed in operating the telescope and setting up the automated N.I.N.A. sequence, and several papers will be written on the large amount of interferometry data collected.
The 10 days of observations concluded with a visit of the Space Shuttle Endeavour in Los Angeles and a tour of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, hosted by Dr. Rob Zellem.