Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope


Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope

Infobox Settlement
official_name = VATT
pushpin_

subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = USA
latd = 32 | latm = 42 | lats = 4.78 | latNS = N
longd = 109 | longm = 53 | longs = 32.54 | longEW = W
elevation_m = 3178
website =

The Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope, aka the VATT, is a 1.8 meter Gregorian telescope observing in the optical and infrared. It is part of the Mount Graham International Observatory. It is situated on Mount Graham in southeast Arizona, and it achieved `first light', the first starlight to pass through the telescope onto a detector, in 1993. It is operated by the Vatican Observatory, one of the oldest astronomical research institutions in the world, in partnership with The University of Arizona.

The heart of the telescope is an f/1.0 honeycombed construction, borosilicate primary mirror. The mirror was manufactured at The University of Arizona's Steward Observatory Mirror Laboratory [http://mirrorlab.as.arizona.edu/] , which pioneered both the spin-casting and the stressed-lap polishing techniques which are being used for telescope mirrors that include the 6.5 meter aperture MMT and Magellan telescopes and the two 8.4 meter mirrors of the Large Binocular Telescope. The VATT's mirror is unusually 'fast', f/1, which means that its focal distance is equal to its diameter. Because it has such a short focal length, a Gregorian design could be employed which uses a concave secondary mirror at a point beyond the primary focus; this allows unusually sharp focusing across the field of view.

The unusual optical design and novel mirror fabrication techniques mean that both the primary and secondary mirrors are among the most exact surfaces ever made for a ground-based telescope. In addition, the skies above Mount Graham are among the most clear, steady, and dark in the continental North America. Seeing of better than one arc-second even without adaptive optics can be achieved on a regular basis.

Given its excellent optical qualities, the telescope has been used primarily for imaging and photometric work, in which it regularly outperforms much larger telescopes located elsewhere. Among the notable results from this telescope have been the discovery of MACHOs in the Andromeda Galaxy; the validation of the Stromvil photometric filter system; evidence for how the shape and dimensions of galaxies have changed over the age of the universe; discovery of the first binary 'Vesta chip' asteroid; and the characterization and classification by visible colors of some 100 Trans-Neptunian objects, most of them fainter than 21st magnitude.

The government of the Vatican City State supports the Vatican Observatory staff and regular research costs, but the cost to build and maintain the VATT itself has come from private donors. The major donors supporting the construction of the telescope were Fred and Alice P. Lennon and Thomas J. Bannan. Benefactors to the Vatican Observatory Foundation [http://clavius.as.arizona.edu/vo/R1024/Support.html] continue to support the operating costs of the Alice P. Lennon telescope and its attached Thomas J. Bannan astrophysics facility.

Other MGIO Facilities

*Large Binocular Telescope
*Heinrich Hertz Submillimeter Telescope

ee also

*Mount Graham International Observatory
*List of observatories
*Safford, AZ

External links

* [http://clavius.as.arizona.edu/vo/R1024/VATT.html VATT] - official site
* [http://www.eac.edu/discoverypark/mgio.shtm Eastern Arizona College's Discovery Park Campus] - Guided MGIO tours for the public


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope — Gebäude des VATT, links die Teleskopkuppel Das Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope, kurz VATT, ist ein 1,8 Meter durchmessendes Gregory Teleskop welches für sichtbares und infrarotes Licht geeignet ist. Es befindet sich am Mount Graham, im… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Vatican City — State[1] Stato della Città del Vaticano[2] …   Wikipedia

  • Vatican Television Center — (VTC) 200px Created by Pope John Paul II Directed by Ugo Moretto Country of origin Vatican City La …   Wikipedia

  • Vatican Observatory — Infobox Observatory name = Vatican Observatory caption = Telescope in Castel Gandolfo organization = Holy See code = 036 location = Castel Gandolfo, Italy coords = coord|41|44|50|N|12|39|2|E|type:landmark region:IT|display=inline,title altitude …   Wikipedia

  • Vatican Secret Archives — Coat of arms of the Holy See The Vatican Secret Archives (Latin: Archivum Secretum Vaticanum), located in Vatican City, is the central repository for all of the acts promulgated by the Holy See. The Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, having… …   Wikipedia

  • Fundamental Law of Vatican City State — Vatican City State This article is part of the series: Politics and government of Vatican City State Fundamental Law Pope …   Wikipedia

  • Reflecting telescope — 24 inch convertible Newtonian/Cassegrain reflecting telescope on display at the Franklin Institute. A reflecting telescope (also called a reflector) is an optical telescope which uses a single or combination of curved mirrors that reflect light… …   Wikipedia

  • Large Binocular Telescope — Infobox Telescope bgcolour = name = Large Binocular Telescope caption = View of LBT. Taken in November 2006 organization = large consortium location = Mount Graham International Observatory, Arizona, USA coords = coord… …   Wikipedia

  • Heinrich Hertz Submillimeter Telescope — Infobox Telescope bgcolour = name = Heinrich Hertz Submillimeter Telescope caption = The SMT at night organization = Arizona Radio Observatory location = Mount Graham International Observatory, Arizona, USA coords = altitude = weather =… …   Wikipedia

  • Geography of Vatican City — Coordinates: 41°54′10″N 12°27′9″E / 41.90278°N 12.4525°E / 41.90278; 12.4525 …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.