The Cardiff HAlf metre Newise Telescope (CHaNT) officially opens today. The new, half-metre telescope is big enough to see Andromeda’s companion galaxies, to study the red spot on Jupiter and to see stars which, frankly, I never thought I’d see from Cardiff.
…it would be possible to view a postage stamp being held up at Castle Coch from the roof of the university’s physics building in the city centre around six miles away.
It will be used by undergraduate students studying astronomy and astrophysics and we are hoping that some of those students will take some amazing images through the telescope in the coming months. A new observatory website will pop up by 2009 to showcase our new toy, and I will give details here on Orbiting Frog when that happens.
CHaNT has an interesting design. It is ‘not-quite-newtonian’ in that it has a spherical primary mirror and flat secondary mirror. Corrective lenses are then placed before and after the secondary mirror to account for spherical aberration. This means that the telescope is smaller than an equivalent newtonian design and thus is even more powerful than it appears!