The 182 cm telescope

 

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The telescope and its instruments are operated by the Astronomical Observatory of Padua that is part of the Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (INAF). The 182 cm telescope is located at Cima Ekar (Asiago) and is the largest astronomical telescope in Italy. It is dedicated to Nicolas Copernicus and has been in operation since 1973.  It is used for optical imaging and low to medium resolution spectroscopy using two main instruments: AFOSC and an Echelle spectrograph.
The telescope and its instruments are operated by the Astronomical Observatory of Padua that is part of the Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (INAF).

TELESCOPE COORDINATES:

Longitude: 11° 34' 08.42" E  -  Latitude: 45° 50' 54.52" N  -  Altitude: 1.366 m

TELESCOPE TECHNICAL DATA

Optics

Optical design of the telescope is a Classic Cassegrain with equivalent focal number f/9.
The primary mirror M1 (made of Schott Duran 50) has a diameter of 182cm.
The main characteristics of the mirrors:
 
M1 M2
  Total mass 1500 Kg   Total mass 67.4 Kg
  Diameter 1820 mm
  Diameter 580.0 mm
  Thickness (external ring) 300 mm   Thickness (external ring) 110.3 mm
  Diameter of central hole  Ø 383 mm
  Radius of curvature 10786 mm   Radius of curvature  4594.8 mm
  Focal length 5393 mm   Theorical distance M1 - M2  3855 mm
  F/number   f/3
  Sagitta 38 mm
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
An active system for the movements of the secondary mirror is implemented. This unit, in addition to the standard focusing, allows one to control both X and Y positions of M2 and tilt angle ALFA, BETA. The whole system is controlled by a dedicated PC. The mirror is periodically re-coated with aluminium using the vacuum chamber at Cima Ekar

Mechanics

The limit of pointing for the declination axis is dependent on the altitude of the target. The minimum altitude is fixed at 20 degrees by both software and hardware limit switch. It is strongly advised that this position never be reached.The pointing accuracy is better than 1 arcmin all sky. The coordinates are read by two absolute encoders with a resolution of approximately 4 arcsec.

The Cassegrain Focus

The Cassegrain Focus (f/9, scale 12.6 arcsec/mm at about 20 cm from the rear main flange) is the main focus of the telescope. Focusing is performed by moving the secondary mirror along the Z axis; this movement is controlled  by a dedicated PC.

The Nasmyth Focus

A 45 degree tertiary mirror can be inserted to deviate the beam to the Nasmyth focus in the East side of the fork.

Dome

The dome of the telescope is on the third floor of the telescope building and has a diameter of 15 m.
The building is equipped with an external elevator to enable maintenance of the dome. Aperture and rotation of the dome are controlled by the TPS (Telescope Pointing System) software.
In addition to the observing floor the building contains offices, mechanical and electronic laboratories and a small kitchen.

Operations

Pointing of the telescope and auto-guiding is performed using TPS software.
During observations the dome is automatically rotated such that the dome window is always aligned with the telescope pointing. See the Telescope Manual for datails  (pdf file)

INSTRUMENTATION

At the 182cm telescope two instruments are available: a low resolution spectrograph and imager (AFOSC) and an high resolution spectrograph (Echelle).
The two instruments are complementary for spectral resolution and are therefore mounted in turn at the telescope following the moon cycle (AFOSC being usually available during grey and dark time).

DETECTORS

Since 1983 several CCD detectors have been installed at instruments' focal planes.
Currently only two detectors are used with the scheduled instruments.
Their characteristics and performances are reported at following link:

Further information on the 182 Telescope are available on:

STATISTICS

Statistics of observing time at the 182cm telescope

OBSERVING AT 182 TELESCOPE 

(Time allocation, information for local accommodation, policy of the observations, observing constraints, acknowledgments)

News – MEDIA INAF

Il notiziario online dell'Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica
  • Le lunghe missioni spaziali dovrebbero prevedere la possibilità di coltivare piante: farebbe bene alla salute psicofisica degli astronauti, dice uno studio dell’università della Florida. Abbiamo chiesto un parere, sia sulla presenza di piante che di eventuali animali da compagnia, a Denise Ferravante, psicologa dell’Enea

  • La sonda della Nasa si prepara all'ultimo anno di missione. Ogni missione nello spazio è limitata nel tempo dal quantitativo di carburante, ma Dawn rimarrà stabile nell'orbita del pianeta nano anche dopo l'esaurimento del propellente a base di idrazina

  • Un team di ricercatori guidato da Francesca Loi dell’Osservatorio astronomico dell’Inaf Cagliari ha osservato col Sardinia Radio Telescope i deboli campi magnetici dell’ammasso di galassie Ciza J2242+5301. I risultati sono stati pubblicati su Mnras

  • Potenti eruzioni solari potrebbero caricare elettricamente alcune aree di Fobos, una delle due lune di Marte, fino a centinaia di volt. Così ha calcolato una simulazione della Nasa che ha studiato l’accumulo di elettricità statica causato dal vento solare e i possibili effetti negativi su equipaggiamenti elettronici o astronauti che dovessero sbarcarvi

  • Rilevata la presenza di una nube tossica di ghiaccio composta da una miscela chimica di acido cianidrico e benzene: le due sostanze chimiche sembrano essersi condensate contemporaneamente formando particelle di ghiaccio, piuttosto che stratificarsi l'una sull'altra

  • Il gruppo di ”space situational awareness” dell’Osservatorio Inaf di Bologna ha seguito al telescopio il transito ravvicinato dell’asteroide, avvenuto lo scorso 12 ottobre a 6 km al secondo e a una quota minima di 48mila km, per oltre quattro ore. Producendo un timelapse da 7 minuti

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