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The Sky is No Limit

From left: Peter Blanchard, CIERA postdoctoral fellow; Kerry Paterson, CIERA postdoctoral associate; Wen-fai Fong, Assistant Professor of Physics & Astronomy; Adam Miller, LSST Data Science Fellow and Data Science Fellowship Program director; Jason A. Pattie, user support specialist and  Computational Facility manager

New remote observatory compresses distances to connect Evanston and Hawaii, allowing Northwestern researchers to venture boldly into space without leaving home

“Northwestern astronomers have begun scanning the heavens from Evanston using a newly completed remote observatory to link to the W.M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii. Located on the 13,600-foot summit of Mauna Kea, the twin 10-meter-wide telescopes provide a state-of-the-art celestial window for University researchers to collect astronomical data without needing to travel thousands of miles to do it.

“The fact that we now have a remote observatory puts us on another level in terms of observational astronomy,” said Wen-fai Fong, a core astronomy faculty member of Northwestern’s Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration & Research in Astrophysics (CIERA). “Now we can provide that service to our own observers, as well as other researchers from around the country. Given the rarity of such rooms, it’s extremely exciting to be able to share this new capability.”

CIERA astronomers have institutional access to the Keck telescopes in Hawaii and the MMT Observatory in Arizona. Northwestern’s new remote observatory is one of the only non-coastal remote observatories in the United States, providing a central hub for certified astronomers from around the country to collect data from these distant telescopes…..”

Read the full Office for Research News article, by Lydia Rivers, Media & Events Aide (CIERA).