New San Pedro Martir Telescope

Bajadock: If you have the chance to get up to San Pedro Martir, justdoit.  It’s about a 4 hour drive from Ensenada, so plan a looong day trip.  Better idea is to book a room there or in San Quintin for an overnight or long weekend.  The park is a beautiful spot for a picnic.  Just remember that you are almost at 10,000 feet a.s.l., so take it easy, geezers.

San Pedro Mártir observatory, baja California, Mexico. from Stéphane Guisard on Vimeo.

Mexico’s National Astronomical Observatory (Spanish: El Observatorio Astronómico Nacional – OAN) was first established on the balcony of Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City in 1878. After several moves to avoid excessive lighting and pollution, the observatory was established in the national park Sierra San Pedro Mártir in Baja California in 1967 at an altitude of 2800m (9200 ft). The site has been found to have excellent astronomical seeing. The observatory has been operated by the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) since 1929. It hosts three optical telescopes of 2.1m, 1.5m and 0.84m diameter. The national park itself offers the visitor a rare test within Mexico : forest of high pines and oaks with a fantastic wildlife.

After nearly 40 years (1979) of having installed the 2.1 meter telescope at the National Astronomical Observatory of San Pedro Mártir (OANSPM) in Baja California, the Institute of Astronomy and the National Institute of Astrophysics, Optics and Electronics will build one three Times larger.
7:05 a.m.
Friday, November 11, 2016

They build in San Pedro Martyr telescope of 6.5 meters of diameter

By Isela Alvarado

Gaceta UNAM

After nearly 40 years (1979) of having installed the 2.1 meter telescope at the National Astronomical Observatory of San Pedro Mártir (OANSPM) in Baja California, the Institute of Astronomy and the National Institute of Astrophysics, Optics and Electronics will build one three Times larger.

The new San Pedro Mártir Telescope (TSPM) will feature a 6.5 meter diameter mirror developed by the University of Arizona, which is in the final phase of detailed polishing. In addition, it has a secondary and corrective lenses, with which celestial objects will be studied in the optical-infrared.

In addition to this project, the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO), which operates the Multiple Mirror Telescope in Monte Hopkins Arizona, will be operated by the TSPM as a binational US-Mexico laboratory, which will be complemented scientifically and technologically. Mexican contribution

“Mexico provides the part of the investment needed to complete the project. It will be supported by the National Council of Science and Technology (Conacyt) and UNAM, as well as contributions of optical elements and instruments, and the technological collaboration of partners, “said Jesús González González, director of the Institute of Astronomy.

“It takes cutting edge infrastructure to adapt to the astronomical research that is taking place in the world today, and this project will allow to continue with the Mexican contribution in the field of astrophysics,” he said.

Multiple Impact

Lorena Archundia, director of Conacyt’s Science Planning, commented that “it will have a multiple impact: in the strengthening of institutional capacities and in different areas of scientific knowledge. We will be in the vanguard in the field of astronomy and in the training of human resources “.

For Andrew Szentgyorgyi of ODS, with the recent discoveries of planets the TSPM becomes a strategic project for the study of these systems, mainly because in the north of the world there are only three suitable places to do frontier science in this field: San Pedro Mártir (Mexico), the archipelagos of Hawaii (EU) and the Canary Islands (Spain).

Traditionally, telescopes are developed in the United States and Europe; However, “Mexico has the capabilities to create this infrastructure and technology,” said Jorge Andrés Uribe, from the Center for Industrial Engineering and Development (Cidesi) and in charge of TSPM design.

The primary mirror is one piece and is hollow inside. The above features allow you to regulate your temperature for proper use and is an advantage over others, said Mario Rascon of the University of Arizona.

The TSPM will include a large field camera and a near-infrared instrument for spectroscopy, with which it will be possible to study from nearby weak objects, to bright and very distant objects.

Once the design stage is approved, it is expected to start construction in 2017 and conclude in about five years. The construction of the dome, the service buildings and other infrastructure will be in charge of the company M3 Mexicana. The scientific operation of the telescope, which is expected to be more than 40 years, will begin from the first day after it ends with its construction.

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