Science at the Winer Observatory
Science by Winer Observatory Customers:
University of Iowa uses the
Iowa Robotic Observatory
for student labs, student research projects, faculty research, and
limited research by approved outside users. Areas of investigation
are many, including variable stars, minor planet light curves,
comets, and upper atmospheric phenomena.
The Ohio State University uses the
KELT telescope to survey the sky photometrically for extrasolar
planets. Thus far, two exoplanet discoveries have been reported (e.g.,
see the New York Times article
of June 19, 2012). Ohio State also uses a 20-inch Meade telescope called
DEMONEX telescope to verify exoplanet candidates identified by surveys
such as KELT.
- While they were a customer,
Washington University in St. Louis
used two Torus Technologies, Inc. (now
Optical Mechanics, Inc.) 0.5-m telescopes, one at our facility
in Sonoita and one in India, to form an
Antipodal Transient Observatory to study Active Galactic Nuclei
and Gamma Ray Bursts.
- Between January and July, 1999 Mike Schwartz discovered eight
supernovae using a Celestron C-14 optical tube assembly mounted on
a Software Bisque Paramount German equatorial mount and an
AP-7 CCD camera. For more information, visit
www.tenagraobservatories.com or to see the invidual discovery images,
- In February and March, 2000 Tom Kaye, an amateur astronomer
from Chicago, detected the extra-solar planet around Tau Boötes
at our observatory in Sonoita using a Meade 16-inch LX200 and a
home-built fiber-fed temperature controlled spectrograph. He
confirmed this detection with another run at Winer in April and
May 2004. Tom took special care to control the temperature of the
spectrograph to within ±1°F each night and ±3°F
over the entire three weeks he was here. Most professional
spectrographs do not control their temperature that well. As late
as 1995, there were only a handful of professional groups that could
make this kind of observation. As far as we know, Tom is the first
amateur to do this. For more information on this amazing feat, visit
www.spectrashift.com or to see the results, click
Science by Observatory Staff:
- Since the early 1970's, Mark Trueblood has observed lunar occultations.
He began observing minor planet occultations in the late 1970's.
- In late 2000, Mark began working with
Robert Crawford of Tucson to observe minor planets to refine their orbits,
concentrating on NEOs. A list of Minor
Planet Electronic Circulars observed by Mark and Robert is available.
Most of these were observed with the assistance of Larry Lebofsky, while
other co-observers included Dave Bell and Morgan Rehnberg. For a movie and
stills of a Near Earth Asteroid, click here. Most
of the NEOs were observed on Kitt Peak using the 2.1-m telescope. The time
allocated on the basis of Time Allocation Committee evaluations of our
- Acknowledgment: Our observing on Kitt Peak is supported by a
grant from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration issued by the
Planetary Astronomy Program.
Refereed Publications Resulting from Data Collected at Winer Observatory:
- Eastman, J., 2011, Ph.D. Dissertation:
DEMONEX: The DEdicated MONitor of EXotransits
- Pepper, Joshua; Pogge, Richard, W.; DePoy, D.L.; Marshall, J.L.;
Stanek, K.Z.; Stutz, Amelia M.; Poindexter, Shawn; Siverd, Robert;
O'Brien, Thomas P.; Trueblood, Mark; and Trueblood, Patricia, 2007,
"The Kilodegree Extremely Little Telescope (KELT): A Small Robotic
Telescope for Large-Area Synoptic Surveys", PASP, 119, 858, pp. 923-935.
- Mutel, R.L. and Fix, J.D., 2000, An Optical Search for Small Comets
,Journal Geophys. Res., 105, 24907.
- Mutel, R.L., Gayley, K.G., and Fix, J.D., 2001, Reply to Frank &
Sigwarth, Journal Geophys. Res., 106, 24863.
- Mutel, R.L. and Fix, J.D., 2003, Comment on 'Detection of Small Comets
with a Ground Based Telescope' by Frank and Sigwarth, Journal Geophys.
Res.,108, A5, pp. SIA 5-1, CiteID 1171, DOI 10.1029/2002JA009391.
- Kay, T.G., Vanaverbeke, S., and Innis, J., High-precision
radial-velocity measurement with a small telescope: Detection of
the tau Boötis exoplanet, J. Br. Astron. Assoc. 116, 2, pp. 78-83.
Last modified: June 21, 2012.