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The Astronomy/Astrophysics Group

MDM 2.4m The astronomy/astrophysics group at Dartmouth consists of six faculty members (plus one adjunct) within the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Three of the faculty are primarily optical/infrared observers, while the other three are theorists. There are a number of graduate students in the group. Each year, several undergraduates are involved in research with the group. Our observing facilities are located at the MDM Observatory on Kitt Peak, which we operate jointly with the University of Michigan, Ohio State University, and Columbia University. MDM has 2.4-meter (shown on the right) and 1.3-meter telescopes and a suite of state-of-the-art optical and infrared instruments.

SALT Dartmouth has recently purchased an 10% share of the 10-meter Southern African Large Telescope (SALT). SALT (pictured on the left) will become operational in 2005 and will be the largest optical telescope in the southern hemisphere. SALT will provide Dartmouth students and faculty guaranteed access to approximately 26 clear nights of 10-meter telescope time per year.

The group has an heterogeneous computing environment, consisting of a variety of UNIX workstations (Suns, DEC alphas, P-4 and Athlon linux boxes). In addition, members of the group have access to a 50 node Beowulf cluster of Athlon XP 2000 CPUs which is located on the main floor of Wilder Lab. The astronomy/astrophysics group has their own research 'lab' which is used for computational purposes. For teaching purposes, the group has two LX-200 10'' Meade telescopes. These telescopes are located on the roof of Wilder Laboratory.

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