Mephisto — A 1.6m multi-channel photometric survey telescope and astrophysics research at Yunnan University

jeudi 26 septembre 2019, par Xiaowei Liu (South-Western Institute for Astronomy Research, Yunnan University, China)

Lundi 7 octobre 2019 à 14h00 , Lieu : Salle de réunion du bâtiment 16

I will present the scientific motivations, technical design and survey plans of the 1.6m Multi-channel Photometric Survey Telescope (Mephisto) currently under development at South-Western Institute for Astronomy Research (SWIFAR) and expected to be operational in 2021. Mephisto has a 1.6 m primary and is equipped with three CCD cameras of a field-of-view 3.14 deg2, capable of simultaneously imaging the same patch of sky in three bands (ugi or vrz). The three cameras boast a total of 1.4 Giga pixels. Mephisto will yield real-time colours of astronomical objects with unprecedented accuracies, and deliver for the first time a coloured documentary of our evolving universe. The unique capability of recording high-precision real-time colours, thus allowing quick and robust classification of fast transients, makes Mephisto particularly powerful in time domain astrophysics. The Mephisto surveys will have two components : the Mephisto-W covering the whole northern sky of ~26,000 deg2 and the Mephisto-D, Mephisto-H and Mephisto-M covering sky areas of respectively thousands, hundreds and tens of square degrees with a corresponding cadence of days, hours and minutes, targeting specifically fast variables and transients. Astrophysics problems that Mephisto will help tackle range from Solar System objects, stars and exoplanetary systems, stars and the Milky Way, to galaxies and cosmology.