Research telescope captures first images

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On 21 July, Lowell Observatory released the first images taken with the e2v imaging sensor that equips its flagship Discovery Channel Telescope (DCT).

The DCT is a 4.3 metre aperture telescope built by Lowell Observatory and the Discovery Channel and is located in Coconino National Forest, Arizona. It is Lowell’s flagship research telescope and astronomers will use the DCT to answer fundamental questions about the Universe, such as how did our solar system form and how did dwarf galaxies evolve.

E2v supplied a state-of-the-art 4k x 4k high performance imaging sensor that was used in the DCT to take these 'first light' images. Following on from that, Lowell is developing the Large Monolithic Imager (LMI), which will be the telescope’s primary optical imager and is equipped with e2v’s 6k x 6k CCD231-C6 imaging sensor. This device was developed for the LMI with funding from e2v and the National Science Foundation. The imaging sensor is back thinned for high sensitivity, has a large (92 x 92mm) format and a precision package to provide a flat focal plane at cryogenic operating temperature.

LMI will be used for a wide range of observations including solar system work on Kuiper belt objects and comets, observations of extra solar planet transits, massive stars in our Galaxy and star formation in remote galaxies.

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