NJIT Physics Department Seminar


December 7, 2009, Monday


The New Solar Telescope in Big Bear


Prof. Philip R. Goode


(Solar & Terrestrial Physics)


Time: Noon-1 pm with 11:30 am tea time

Room: 407 Tiernan (**NOTE  SPECIAL  ROOM**)



For nearly three decades, Big Bear Solar Observatory has used one of the world’s most powerful solar telescopes to advance knowledge of our star.  The observatory is located high in a mountain lake in southern California.  This old telescope has been replaced by one with three times the resolution to enable scientists to probe the fundamental scale of the Sun’s dynamic magnetic fields, which can cause storms that destroy satellites and disrupt the power grid and telecommunications.    The new telescope is made possible by pushing the envelope of current technologies, which will be discussed. 

The new telescope will be the most capable solar telescope in the world for a decade.  Early in 2009, first light observations with the NST (New Solar Telescope) in Big Bear Solar Observatory (BBSO) were made.    First observational results will be shown and discussed.  The NST primary mirror is the most aspheric telescope mirror deployed to date.  The NST is early in its commissioning, and the plans for this phase will be presented.  The NST is the pathfinder for large nighttime and daytime telescopes to come.  The germane lessons learned in building and implementing the NST will be sketched.   

The talk will discuss the adventures, fun and issues in the construction and implementation of the telescope.