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A schematic of the instrument cube to be mounted at the Ritchey-Chretien focus of the DCT. The primary mirror cell is at top, and the instrument cube will be mounted to the back of the cell.


The Ritchey-Chretien (RC) focus of the DCT will accommodate the instrument cube, which will house a suite of instruments enabling the telescope to carry out diverse science programs. A schematic of the cube is shown at right. In this image, the sky is toward the top (imagine that!), and the round plate at the top of the assembly at right is mounted to the back of the primary mirror cell.

Light enters the center of the light blue cube through the central hole in the primary mirror, and a tilted mirror can be moved in and out of the light path to direct light to any of several instruments.

NIHTS The small instrument shown in red is the Near Infrared High Throughput Spectrograph (NIHTS). This instrument is funded for development under a grant from NASA's Planetary Astronomy Program to Lowell astronomer Henry Roe.

DeVeny Spectrograph The larger instrument shown in white is a low resolution (~4,000) optical spectrograph, a versatile instrument that can be applied to numerous programs. This instrument is already in operation at Lowell's 1.8-meter Perkins Telescope and will be moved to the DCT once the telescope is finished.

LMI A third instrument, the Large Monolithic Imager (LMI), is under development thanks to a fully-funded grant from the National Science Foundation in 2010. The LMI is the small blue cylinder at the bottom of the RC cube, and will be DCT's workhorse first light instrument. It will use a single large CCD to obtain wide field of view (~13 arc minute) images through a variety of standard filters and will serve a number of programs.

Explore the links below to learn about some of the science programs planned for the DCT during its initial operations.

Instrument Cube

The Kuiper Spectral Survey
The Physical Properties of Comets
The Evolution of Little Galaxies
The Masses of Stars

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