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December 2001

Diffraction Limited Astronomy on ISS

By Laurie Maloney
November Meeting

Mac Gardiner
Battle Point Astronomical Association
Wednesday, December 19
7:30 p.m.

A-102 Physics-Astronomy Bldg.
University of Washington

Come early at 7 p.m. to visit with your fellow members.

Bring your slides for after the program.

BATTLE Point Astronomical Association President, Mac Gardiner will describe the diffraction limited astronomy program on the ISS at the December meeting.

In 1999, Mac proposed that the amateur astronomical community be involved in the procurement and operation of a small but powerful telescope system on the experiment exterior section of the International Space Station (ISS). The system would be autonomous, responding to targeting command schedules sent from Ground Control, and returning electronic image data for processing by amateurs. The Astronomical League has taken on the task of organizing and operating of the ground system, and is working closely with NASA, The Boeing Company, and a variety of commercial and educational institutions. The goal is to obtain diffraction limited astrophotography, with resolution approaching 0.1 arc sec., perfect “seeing” and a truly dark sky. This will allow amateurs to probe celestial phenomena now limited to the Hubble, or the largest of the terrestrial telescope systems.

Mac Gardiner, BSEE MIT 1941, retired from Boeing after 45 years in electronic research.

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