York University is expanding its foothold in astronomy with a shiny new one-metre, custom telescope which boasts the most powerful optical performance ever experienced at a university campus in Canada. For students, astronomers and members of the public, the new PlaneWave PW1000 fully-automated telescope will provide a deeper view into space to see clearer images of distant galaxies and cosmic objects.
Media were invited to York University’s Allan I. Carswell Observatory recently to learn how the telescope works, look through the telescope lens, and hear from Faculty of Science students who are using the telescope to see more detailed images of space. For these students, the new instrument means more hands-on learning experiences and more undergraduate research opportunities.
Some students used to spend hours using York’s older telescope searching the night’s sky for distant galaxies – almost as difficult as finding a needle in the haystack. The new telescope is a huge upgrade for the students because it means less time searching the night sky and more time analyzing the data thanks to the telescope’s pointing accuracy from the high-resolution absolute encoders on each axis.
Members of the public are encouraged to register for future public viewing dates.
Photo: Student Sunna Withers looks through York’s new telescope.