KFU delegation visited Special Astrophysical Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences and KFU North Caucuses Astronomical Station on August 15-17 to officially launch a multichannel monitoring telescope MMT.
The delegation included Ilshat Gafurov, KFU Rector, Aleksey Lavrov, Deputy Minister of Finance of Russia (Member of KFU Advisory Board), Albert Aganov, Director of KFU Institute of Physics and KFU researchers.
ММТ is a next generation, multi-objective and transforming monitoring system, the Mini-MegaTORTORA, the only telescope of the type in the world, that will help solve issues of fundamental astrophysics as well as to focus on other targets, from orbiting garbage movement patterns to the discovery of dangerous asteroids.
- Multichannel monitoring telescope is installed on the north side of the Caucasus Mountains near the 6 m aperture telescope of the Russian Academy of Science (BTA), said Marat Mingaliev, Deputy Director of Special Astrophysical Observatory RAS. – Full stream of transferred information is 1 gigabyte per second, data flow rate is 10 frames per second, whereas the summary picture format is 50 megapixels or 900 square degrees.
MMT system runs constant monitoring of the sky 1.5 times a night. Any change like a flare event, a moving object, or a growing brightness of a star is real time identified, analyzed and classified by the system automatically. MMT detects several hundreds of meteors per night; the data collected during one night mounts to 28 terabytes.
It is a closed-loop system; when an interesting change is detected, for example, an unknown flare, it switches from the observation regime to the research one to define the colour and polarize optical emission.
During the visit, Ilshat Gafurov and other KFU executives and the representatives of the Special Astrophysical Observatory discussed perspective joint projects related to the use of MMT, set the research areas and ways of their implementation. Special Astrophysical Observatory has the largest in Russia and Europe telescopes RATAN-600 and BTA that astronomers from around the world may apply to work with them.
One of the key topics discussed is the use of the above mentioned telescopes (BTA, RATAN-600, and Zeiss-1000) to train astronomers, geologists, and biologists.
In addition, the delegation met with Dmitry Ivanov, Deputy Director of the Institute of Applied Astronomy RAS. It is considered to construct a radio telescope similar to RT-13 of the RAS Institute of Applied Astronomy in Engelgardt Astronomic Observatory in Kazan in addition to operating planetarium, MMT and other equipment there. It will open up new approaches to observation methods of fundamental and applied radio astronomy and boost radio physics in Kazan Federal University in the field of development and implementation of very high frequency equipment.
To sum up, the delegation members believe this project to become a perfect paragon of a successful union of university and academic science and business aimed to solve fundamental and applied issues.