Dr. Jeff Hall
Dr. Jeff Hall Astronomer, Director, Lowell Observatory
The DCT is designed to be a general purpose 4.3-meter telescope, capable of accommodating a wide array of instruments and scientific projects quite well, rather than being highly specialized to do one thing or a limited set of things the best in the world. That's because we have a fairly diverse science staff with diverse interests. We have people who like to do imaging. We have people who want to do spectroscopy. And we have a growing set of institutional partners who will be using the telescope with us, and they all come with faculty with their own set of fairly broad interests. So we've designed a telescope that can accommodate all these projects and, crucially, that can switch back and forth from one to another fairly quickly.
Modern astronomical instruments can be monsters, and it can take hours to a day to take them on and off the telescope. We've designed the DCT's instrument sweep with a mechanism that will let us switch from one instrument to another at the back of the telescope within a minute. It's a very interesting and powerful feature of the telescope.
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