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Observing Titan with IRTF/SpeX

Thanks for five great Titan seasons!!! Now, on to the sixth!

  • Read the paper "Storms in the Tropics of Titan" published in Nature
    This paper reports on a huge cloud system detected in Titan's tropics with IRTF and subsequently observed with Gemini

  • Read the paper "Seasonal Change on Titan Observed with IRTF/SpeX" submitted to the Astronomical Journal
    This paper covers the first 2 years of Titan cloud monitoring

  • Read the paper "Discovery of Lake-Effect Clouds on Titan" submitted to Geophysical Research Letters
    This paper incorporates Cassini, Gemini and IRTF data to understand a new cloud phenomenon on Titan

    Nightly Titan Coordinates

    (J2000)

    (Or just enter Horizons 606)

    Please feel free to call me anytime! Cell (701)-317-0789

  • 2013-Jul-31 05:00 UT (7:00PM HST)*** 14 14 08.77 -10 57 42.4
    **Titan can be observed from sunset until 07:30 UT (9:30PM HST)
    click for diagram showing Titan's position relative to Saturn

  • 2013-Aug-01 04:59 UT (6:59PM HST)*** 14 14 19.96 -10 58 27.1
    **Titan can be observed from sunset until 07:26 UT (9:26PM HST)
    click for diagram showing Titan's position relative to Saturn

    HD 128596 -- 14 38 06.98 -12 54 38.5

    Observing Instructions

  • The basic outline:

    ***I am Guest23***
    Please focus the telescope if it has not been done in the past hour or you have any reason to suspect it may be out of focus.
  • 1. Take spectra of Titan using "schaller_titan" macro.
  • 2. Take spectra of the calibration star (HD 128596) using "schaller_compstar" maro
  • 3. Do calibrations with "schaller_cal_sxd_1.6"

    The details:

    1.
  • Execute the macro /macro/bigdog/observer_macros/schaller_titan
    (This macro changes everything to the correct settings (sxd, 1.6'' slit, etc)
  • Slew to Titan (see coordinates above).
  • Check to make sure the paths for the autosave on bigdog and guidedog are guest23/UTdate (this should be done automatically when you sign in as guest23)
  • Take an image of Titan with guidedog (in the GuidedogXUI "Obs","Basic", press go)
  • click on "Auto Guidebox Setup" located on the right side of the guidedog xui (this will draw the A (top) and B (bottom) guide boxes on the slit)
  • Move Titan into box A by placing the cursor on Titan, holding down the shift key and the center mouse button and drawing a line from the star to the center of box A
  • Now click on "offset telescope" (which is in the guidedog dv window under the "tcs offset" tab
  • Start guiding: Switch from "basic" to "slow.gd", press go
  • Take spectra of Titan (press go on bigdog) (takes ~5 minutes)
  • Remember to stop guiding when spectra finish

    2.
  • Slew to HD 128596
  • Execute the macro "schaller_compstar"
  • perform the same procedure above to get the star in the slit and start guiding on the star
  • Take spectra of the star (press go on bigdog) (takes ~3 minutes)
  • Remember to stop guiding when spectra finish

    3.
  • Perform calibrations by executing the macro "schaller_cal_sxd_1.6" (takes ~2 minutes)