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Comet c/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy)
Wednesday, 14 January 2015
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Comet c/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) taken by TFRM team on Jan 9, 2015.  False color composite of 5 frames stacking, each one of 60s.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 14 January 2015 )
Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Latest highlights:

TFRM-PSES survey status

Since December 2011, and in collaboration with the team of Dr.Ignasi Ribas (ICE-CSIC), the team of the TFRM conducts a field targeted survey based on a input catalog of 556 M-type stars, similar to the one used by MEarth. The survey, called TFRM-PSES, searches super-Earths around Ms stars, taking advantage that the TFRM is able to monitor multiple fields (each one containing ~10-20 M-type target stars) with sufficient cadence and, photometric precision and in the range of 9.0mag < V < 15.5mag.

The current (23 Apr 2014) coverage of the TFRM-PSES survey is that 48 of the 60 catalogued fields have been observed with a median number of epochs of 19.
 Catalogued fields with M dwarfs to be observed
 Catalogued fields with M dwarfs to be observed
Fields with M dwarfs already observed at least once
Fields with M dwarfs already observed at least once.
On the other hand, the total number of covered fields observed at least once during TFRM-PSES survey is 935.
Typically, the cadence we are implementing is one field exposure every 35sec.


Virgo cluster detail

This image is 800x800 pixel. Original image 4096x4096.


The Fabra-ROA telescope at Montsec (TFRM) project consists in the refurbishment of the f/1 50cm Baker-Nunn Camera (BNC) for robotic CCD surveying purposes. It is participated by the Reial Acadèmia de Ciències i Arts de Barcelona - Observatori Fabra, the Real Instituto y Observatorio de la Armada (ROA) and the Departament d'Astronomia i Meteorologia, Universitat de Barcelona.



The BNC was designed, manufactured and installed at ROA by Smithsonian Institution during late 50s as an optical tracking system for artificial satellites (see the full story ). These wide-field telescopes of 50 cm of aperture were manufactured by Perkin-Elmer (optics) and Boller & Chivens (mechanics) with the highest quality specifications. At early 80s the telescope passed to property of ROA .

The refurbishment project is composed by seven phases already under completion:

  1. optical refiguring to maximize the useful FOV with a CCD camera and the throughput of the system,
  2. mechanical modification to convert the original alt-azimuthal mount into equatorial and enable its complete automatization.
  3. design and manufacture of a completely new, tip-tilt adjustable assembly and a 10µm-accurate focus system for the CCD camera. 
  4. design of a new software which enables the control of all the devices of the observatory in both remote and robotic modes.
  5. construction of an enclosure, with both moving roof and South wall, to host and protect the telescope against the enviromental conditions. This includes monitoring web-cameras and a weather station.
  6. design and construction of an electronic system which control the axis motions of the telescope, mobile parts of the enclosure, environmental control instruments, camara focus motor, etc.
  7. Final installation of the instrument at the observing site.
Currently, the TFRM is fully operative in both remote and robotic modes. It has just started a few-month commissioning period in order to check and verify its complete performance and reliability. Once the completion of such period, the TFRM will offer its capabilities to the international scientific community.
Illustration of 4.4ºx4.4º Baker-Nunn field of view
Its most rellevant specification is the outstanding field of view (FOV). While before the optics refiguring with curved photographic film the system offered 5°x30° with a spot size inferior to 20µm throughout the field, 4.4°x4.4º are available with similar optical signature using a 4kx4k 9µm-sized pixel CCD. The figure on the left is our first technical image of M31 taken at the testing site at San Fernando Observatory. The image illustrates the huge FOV of the BNC in comparison to the Moon angular size.
The BNC is installed in a privileged area of the Catalan Pre-Pyrenees, at the summit of the Montsec d'Ares (Sant Esteve de la Sarga, Lleida). This site already hosts another observing facility which is pioneered by the Consorci del Montsec.


Last Updated ( Wednesday, 23 April 2014 )