WIYN Observatory

The WIYN Observatory supports the current and future research and education needs of its scientists by operating and maintaining the WIYN facilities at a superb level of performance, and by developing opportunities to enable frontier astrophysical research.

Continuing Community Access to WIYN Through NOAO

Two federal agencies, NASA and NSF, have joined together to continue community access to WIYN through a program of research related to exoplanets known as NN-EXPLORE. NN-EXPLORE will be managed on behalf of the federal agencies by NOAO, which will remain a WIYN partner.

Phase 1 of this program will offer access to WIYN’s existing suite of instruments for exoplanet related research, starting in semester 2015B. National time for other research areas may be available in 2015B, subject to availability after allocations to the exoplanet projects. More details are available in the NOAO 2015B call for proposals for WIYN. This does not apply to time allocations by university partners in WIYN.

Phase 2 will entail the design, construction, and deployment on WIYN of a NASA-funded Extreme Precisions Doppler Spectrometer, as detailed in the announcement of opportunity. NASA's goal is to have the instrument operational on WIYN during fiscal year 2018, commensurate with the anticipated onset of data flow from the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) mission. This program is described in a recent NOAO press release.

ODI Update: 5x5 Upgrade Has Begun

The long anticipated ODI upgrade has begun! We are adding 17 new detectors to the existing 13 detectors in the ODI focal plane. By rearranging the current detectors and adding new ones, the scientifically useful field of view of ODI will increase from the current 24' x 24' to approximately 40' by 48' on the sky. Yes, that is almost a 1 degree diagonal, so we can rightfully call our instrument the "One Degree Class Imager".

Just before Thanksgiving the ODI dewar was removed from the telescope and, subsequently, the focal plane was extracted in the clean room. In January, the new detectors were installed at the University of Arizona's Imaging Technology Laboratory and the upgraded focal plane has now returned to NOAO.

Installation, dewar refurbishment, and extensive detector optimization will take us to mid May, when ODI will ship back to Kitt Peak. Installation of ODI will begin just after Memorial Day. First light and commissioning throughput will occur in June 2015, allowing for first shared risk science data to be taken with 5x5 ODI in July 2015.

Up-to-date status reports on the ODI upgrade can be found in the ODI Status Update.

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more information as the ODI upgrade project progresses.

WIYN Consortium Seeks New Partners

The WIYN Consortium, which operates the 3.5-m WIYN telescope on Kitt Peak in Arizona, is seeking new partners to join the consortium. Our immediate goal is to secure the future operations of the WIYN 3.5-m telescope.

For additional information, view the Potential Partner Information or contact John Salzer (slaz at astro.indiana.edu).

Last modified: 23-Feb-2015 11:32:43 MST