Scope: Cosmus homepage  
Home Page Downloads Projects Tech Notes About Us

Stereo Photographs from the VERITAS project

Photographer : Brian Humensky


The pictures here were taken by Brian Humensky of the VERITAS project while visiting the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory at Mt Hopkins and the Kitt Peak National Observatory in early June 2004. Dinoj Surendran aligned them with Pokescope.

The photographs are of several telescopes, including

Download: (67 Mb) contains all the photographs thumbnailed on this page, and this GWD file that you can view on a GeoWall with Wallview. The picture order in it is similar to the one on this page. (33 Mb) has anaglyph versions of the same photographs. They are on this webpage too; whenever you see a picture called blah.jpg, type in the url window blah_anaglpyh.jpg (Note the misspeling!)

Mark SubbaRao put some of Brian's pictures together to form a panorama - but there was unfortunately one missing picture: rectangular, dome format.

Technical note: Several photographs look like duplicates, but aren't. There are slight differences in the pictures themselves or in their alignment or cropping. Pictures were taken using a bar with three positions, in left-center-right order. Therefore, if you see two pictures, say 1june_829_830.jpg and 1june_829_831.jpg, the former is a left-center pair while the latter is a left-right pair and looks 'more 3d'. For some people 'more 3d' is 'too 3d' so both pictures were left in. Similarly, if you see a picture labelled 'mid' e.g. 1june_829_830mid.jpg then the alignment was done with some object at a middle distance from the observer and the non-mid picture was aligned with some object closer to the observer.

Welcome to the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory at Mt Hopkins!
The sign says "... road ahead is single-lane, unpaved and steep", proving beyod a doubt that we are in Arizona :)

The first VERITAS Telescope

This telescope is being converted in summer 2004 from a prototype, and will eventually have to be moved (pity the movers!) to the eventual site on Kitt Peak 90 minutes drive away.
A face-on view of the telescope. The diagonal squarish yellowish-brown box sticking out at you contains a camera (assembled at UChicago from parts made at Iowa State, Purdue and other universities). The shutter of the camera is reflected in the mirrors of the telescope (also reflected is the hill of scree on which the photographer stood.)

The triangular bit is some other instrument that we will document later. The blue stripes running SW-NE are actually grey strips of duct tape holding the shutter together. (Try to ignore the barrel to the right of the left picture...)
The structure to its left is a trailer housing the electronics to acquire data from the telescope. The duct work coming out of the trailer contains cables (mostly coaxial cables, a couple of optical fibers, high voltage lines, power lines), which go underground and into the telescope structure.
Same scene, later in the day. Note that only about a quarter of the dish is covered with mirrors at the moment, the rest will be put in over the summer of 2004.
Side view. The diameter of the telescope dish is 12m. The distance from the dish to the camera is also 12m.
As previous picture, but made lighter by changing the light intensity curve.
These folks are disassembling the camera on the telescope. They're standing on a SnorkelLift.
Brian writes, "the mirrors have been covered with cardboard and plastic bags: a long story involving alignment tests and the power outage. But at least they don't reflect."

The Whipple 10m Gamma Ray Telescope

Here's one of the previous generation of telescopes, the Whipple 10m gamma ray telescope. The original structure was built in 1968, the camera and mirrors are much newer. It's also at Mt Hopkins Observatory.
The dish of this telescope is 10m in diameter and the camera is 7m from the center of the dish. On the camera is a cover that is taken off before an observing session. There are cables running along the struts.
The red 2003 Dodge Neon (used by the photographer and actually very dusty - somehow the dust doesnt show in the photographs) in the background clearly shows the scale of the telescope. The support structure of this telescope is not very high, so a pit in the ground was needed when the telescope was built.
Several face on views of the telescope. Near the bottom right of the picture is the photographer, who was standing on a balcony of the support building near the telescope. Also visible in the reflection on the mirrors is the air conditioning unit on the building.
Back to the telescope and the Neon.
Behind the 10m telescope (what we were looking at just now) is a support building.
Behind the support building is another telescope, in a dome. This is either the 48" or the 60", Brian's not sure.

Photographs from Kitt Peak

The VERITAS telescope will eventually be moved to Kitt Peak. Here are several shots from it... you can work out what you are looking at from this documentation at the Kitt Peak National Observatory website.
This is where the VERITAS telescopes will eventually be located.
This pleasant looking lake is home to every evil little bug and pest known to humanity. That's admittedly hyperbole, but you get the idea. Swimming is not recommended.

McMath-Pierce Solar Telescope

This interesting structure is the McMath-Pierce Solar Telescope at Kitt Peak.

Contact us at