RASC Regular Meeting, May 10, 2021

The Dragonfly Telephoto Array

RASC Regular Meeting, Monday May 10, 2021

7:00 PM, Meet and Greet

7:30 PM, Meeting begins, including guest talk, News from Space, AstroImaging Corner, and other RASC news.

FREE and open to the public.

Join this meeting using this Zoom link.

Guest Speaker:

Deborah Lokhorst

The Dragonfly Telephoto Array: New eyes to reveal the faintest and largest structures in the Universe

The Dragonfly Telescope
The Dragonfly Telephoto Array is a fully refracting telescope specially designed to image extremely faint extended objects in the universe down to unprecedented faintness. Dragonfly has uncovered a whole new population of faint and large galaxies (called “ultra-diffuse galaxies”) and revitalized the previously neglected field of low surface brightness imaging. The telescope accomplishes this with a mosaic of 48 Canon telephoto lenses which minimize light scattering by 10x compared to conventional telescopes. Additionally, Dragonfly’s large field-of-view perfectly frames the largest objects imaginable, allowing it to target both faint and large structures in the local Universe. The latest upgrade to the Dragonfly Telephoto Array is the implementation of ultra-narrow bandpass optical filters to zero in on light from diffuse gas in the halos of galaxies. With a pathfinder version of this upgrade, we have discovered giant gaseous features surrounding the nearby starburst galaxy M82. Ultimately, the goal with this upgrade is to directly image emission from the largest structure in the Universe itself, the Cosmic Web.
Deborah Lokhorst and Dragonfly
Deborah Lokhorst is a PhD candidate in the Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics working with Prof. Bob Abraham and the Dragonfly Telephoto Array. Her research includes designing, building, and installing an upgrade on the Dragonfly Telephoto Array to enable it to observe extremely faint line emission with ultra narrowband filters. She is using this upgrade to search for diffuse gas in the outskirts of galaxies to determine how gas gets into galaxies in order to fuel star formation, and how these galaxies interact with the “cosmic web”.


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