Following some thorough testing, we’ve determined that the dome occulting issues were due to a failing encoder that will be replaced this week. The failing unit has been removed, and the dome is currently off.
Further, our mirror support compressor has finally ceased to function. Brevin will purchase a replacement this week.
For the second summer in a row, the RCT was used by students attending the astronomy camps directed by Dr. Don McCarthy . Four camps held in June and July engaged a total 93 teenagers from the US and five foreign countries . The RCT was used for temporal monitoring of two comets, a flare star and Saturn’s moon Titan. The picture below shows the campers at the 12-meter telescope observing the transit of Venus. The other image is a mosaic of several nights of observing Titan in orbit around Saturn, which was part of a project using Kepler’s Third Law to determine the mass of Saturn. Titan is shown as different colored dots which represent four different epochs of observations
After many tests, we now think either the dome encoder is failing or the dome power supply is incorrectly set, following the powerout for the UPS replacement. More updates soon.
The pointing was recentered (off after worm-gear lubrication work) and the focus was readjusted (for seasonal drift).