Visit to AURA

Telescopes at Cerro Tololo Intercontinental Observatory are managed somewhere, and that location is in La Serena, Chile, the home of AURA, the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy. We were given a splendid tour of the facility: most informative. Below, the storage shelves for electronic components – lots and lots of components. They machine and build the electronic internals for their instruments here, as well as take instruments shipped to them for testing and preparation for installation at the observatory sites.

Visit to AURA, La Serena

Working on circuitry is a detailed effort with much time spent both at the work bench but also in front of work stations.

Visit to AURA, La Serena

Below, the test bed to measure a CCD chip’s quantum efficiency, its ability to react to and collect light packets, photons.


Here is a CCD chip, although one that did not pass their tests. It is inoperative. _JAB1443

The 4m Blanco Telescope at CTIO has an interesting instrument setup: the secondary mirror can be swapped, well, actually turned 180 degrees around to either present the mirror, or a very complex imager which resides at prime focus. Below is the control circuitry to make that reversal happen smoothly.

Visit to AURA, La Serena

About johnb

- Director of Grainger Observatory, Phillips Exeter Academy. - Variable-star-crazed astronomer, but have done research in other areas. - Drummer, archer, pilot, chef, friend, pet owner, husband, father, Train-nut.
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