Author Archives: rachel

RCT ECT tweaked

Please be aware that the RCT’s online Exposure Time Calculate has been modified to fix a bug in calculating the signal-to-noise for a known magnitude and integration time. Calculations modes for exposure time and magnitude are unaffected.

RCT working again

The RCT is back to fully functioning and the scheduler is back online. You should now be able to add your targets to the queue with no problems.

The problem with the camera was not the fiber channel or ethernet cards, but the same power supply that we have had troubles with in the past. In a sense this is good, as the other two are custom cards for which there are likely to be only a few spares. The power supply is pretty generic and easily found on-line.

In other news, Brevin has resolved the first UPS quote at no cost, and found a better supplier. We are waiting on an updated quote, but we expect it should ship in a week or two.

CCD still down

Technicians were able to go out to the telescope yesterday and believe they have identified the problem. We expect that the system will be offline for at least the next few weeks in order to get parts and make repairs.
I will post as soon as the telescope is back online.

The Spindle Galaxy as seen by RCT


NGC5866 in the H_alpha filter

Some of you might have noticed this week that we have cleared some space in the queue to allow a couple of students to take data for their Astronomical Observational Techniques class.

Jason Leszczewicz, a Physics major at WKU, took this image of galaxy NGC 5866 for his project to determine the star formation rates of a sample of galaxies. This image is a raw 300s exposure taken in the H_alpha_continuum (6444A) filter.

NGC 5866 (also called the Spindle Galaxy or Messier 102) is a relatively bright lenticular or spiral galaxy in the constellation Draco. As clearly seen in this image, it’s most prominent feature is it’s edge-on dust disc.

It was so pretty I thought everyone should see it.

Let me know if you have any similarly pretty images taken with the RCT!



Pointing Error

Hi Folks,
It looks as if we were slightly off in our pointing for some observations last night resulting in acquire errors for some guided targets. Observers who did obtain data, can you let me know if you also saw a slight offset in your pointing. Any other comments about data quality you’d like to add?

All data now available

Some of you noticed that even though the database form was available, data from Feb-7 to present were not available in the archive. This was a hangup in the archiving script, due to a partially downloaded file at the point the server went down. The archive is now fully available, and all data to present is searchable.

New SII filters available

SII filters (6717, and 6730) are now in filter positions 15 and 16, replacing the UV_continuum and OH filters. The filters now available are:

Number Name Center Bandwidth
# nM nM
0 empty 0 0
1 U 0 0
2 B 0 0
3 V 0 0
4 R 0 0
5 I 0 0
6 6444A/Ha_continuum 644.4 8.1
7 6563A/Halpha_2.2nm 656.3 2.2
8 3870A/CN_6.2nm 387 6.2
9 5660A/NH2_continuum 566 12
10 5721A/NH2 572.1 8.5
11 5260A/Green_continuum 526 5.6
12 5141A/C2 514.1 11.8
13 4450A/Blue_continuum 445 6.7
14 4062A/C3 406.2 6.2
15 SII_6717 671.6 0.9
16 SII_6731 672.9 0.8

This information can also be found at RCT Filters

Welcome to the new RCT Consortium Blog!


I thought that it might be nice if there was a place where I could regularly post about the happenings at the telescope and anything else RCT-related.

My aim is to post in this blog at least once a week to keep everyone updated on how the telescope is performing.

The type of items I will be posting on:

  • Current telescope stats (good observing nights, images taken etc)
  • Any observing issues
  • Conferences/Meetings
  • Pretty pictures
  • etc!

Please send me your feedback – I want to make this blog as useful as possible!