Kitt Peak Observing Runs
Speckle interferometry can be used to overcome normal seeing limitations by taking many very short exposures at high magnification and analyzing the resulting speckles to obtain the position angles and separations of close binary stars. A typical speckle observation of a close binary consists of 1000 images, each 20 milliseconds long. The images are stored as a multi-plane FITS cube. A portable speckle interferometry system that features an electron-multiplying CCD camera (EMCCD) was used in two week-long observing runs on the 2.1-meter telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO) to obtain ~1000 data cubes of close binaries selected for future use by student teams, graduate students, and other researchers. Many hundreds of single reference stars were also observed and used in deconvolution to remove undesirable atmospheric and telescope optical effects.
In the slideshow below, groups of students and astronomers are shown working together to both prepare the KPNO 2.1-meter telescope for observations and the subsequent observational work.