El Enano

Dwarfed by the other telescopes at CTIO, the Swarthmore robotic survey camera sits in a 10-foot dome (from Technical Innovations, Inc.) on a concrete pad near the one-meter telescope building.

Its small size has earned it the nickname of El Enano (the dwarf). Much smaller than the nearby one-meter telescope, its dome is barely visible beneath the arrow tip in the photo at the upper right. It is only slightly larger than the Volkswagen parked in front of it in the photo at lower right

Installed in 1997, the camera was first used to image the sky in the Ha emission line of interstellar hydrogen. The resulting Southern H-Alpha Sky Survey Atlas (SHASSA) was published in 2001.

The camera is now being used to obtain images at the wavelength of another emission line, that of ionized sulfur ([SII]) at 676 nm. The Ha/[SII] brightness ratio will help distinguish collisionally ionized supernova remnants from photoionized HII regions around hot stars.

The El Enano project is under the overall direction of John Gaustad (Swarthmore College). Wayne Rosing (Las Cumbres Observatory) is responsible for the instrumentation. Others involved, past and present, include Peter McCullough, Dave Van Buren, R. Chris Smith, Stephen Heathcote, and several graduate and undergraduate students.

Contact: jgausta1@swarthmore.edu