The WIYN Observatory
The WIYN Observatory is a ground-breaking facility with a 3.5-meter telescope atop Kitt Peak National Observatory in Southern Arizona. It is owned and operated by the WIYN Consortium, which consists of the University of Wisconsin, Indiana University, Yale University, and the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO). This partnership between public and private universities and NOAO was the first of its kind. Over nearly two decades of operation, the universities and the larger astronomical community have benefited from access to this well run observatory and its excellent site. The telescope incorporates many technological breakthroughs including a modern dome and actively controlled mirror. WIYN has earned a reputation in particular for its excellent image quality that is now available over a wider field than ever before through the addition of the One Degree Imager optical camera.
Detailed information on the WIYN Telescope is available on the WIYN Technical Specifications page.
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. However, we are also interested in talking to potential
partners about the possibility of creating a new consortium that would
operate both the WIYN and Mayall 4-m telescope as a two-telescope
system on Kitt Peak.
For additional information, including a full copy of the
announcement of interest view the Potential Partner Information page.
JUNE AAS MEETING-IN-A-MEETING
We are pleased to announce that the WIYN partners will be holding a Meeting-in-a-Meeting on "WIYN Observatory - Building on the Past, Looking to the Future" at the 2-6 June 2013 AAS meeting in Indianapolis. The meeting will consist of three oral sessions, designed to highlight key scientific contributions of the WIYN Observatory, familiarize the astronomical community with current WIYN instrumentation and capabilities, including the newest WIYN instrument, the Partial One Degree Imager (pODI), and provide a forum for discussion of partnership arrangements for 4-meter class telescopes like WIYN. The meeting gives us an opportunity to showcase both WIYN's accomplishments and its potential for the future and we hope you can join us. Please view the full announcement for more information.
ODI IS GATHERING DATA!
ODI is on the telescope and in regular use in static mode. A wealth of information on ODI can be found within the ODI Web Pages. There observers can find information on proposal and planning information, an overview of ODI, a quick guide to the PPA, and much more.
Oxygen and Sodium Abundances in M13 Giants: Linking Globular Cluster Formation Scenarios, Deep Mixing, and Post-RGB Evolution - Christian I. Johnson and Catherine A. Pilachowski
Globular clusters are collections of a few tens of thousands to several million stars bound together by their mutual gravity. In addition to being among the oldest (10-12 billion years) known objects in the Universe, stars within globular clusters share several key characteristics that make them ideal laboratories for studying chemical enrichment and stellar evolution. In particular, stars in a globular cluster have approximately the same age, distance, and chemical composition. However, important details regarding both how globular clusters form and how the unique globular cluster environment affects chemical enrichment and star formation remain a mystery.
Recent observations with the Hydra multifiber spectrograph on the WIYN telescope were done to test predictions from a new model of globular cluster formation. High resolution spectra of more than 100 red giant branch (RGB) and asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars in the globular cluster M13 were obtained. The figure shown here includes M13 (left), the setup program to obtain some of the M13 observations (middle), and the actual fibers deployed on the instrument (right). Since different elements absorb different wavelengths of light, we can calculate the abundance (number of atoms) of each element in a star’s atmosphere by measuring how much light is missing (absorbed) in the spectrum at specific wavelengths. In general, older stars have lower abundances of elements heavier than He than younger stars, and the metal-poor nature of the M13 stars we observed is consistent with its old age. Furthermore, the results outlined by our work provide strong support for current globular cluster formation models. More information with figures and acknowledgements can be found in the full article.
The WIYN 3.5m is not open to the public. However, the visitor's center does offer daily tours of other telescopes on Kitt Peak. For more information on visiting Kitt Peak National Obseratory see the Kitt Peak Visitor's Center web site.