Articles

Astronomical Reflecting Telescope 11 (AZT-11)

AZT-11AZT-11

1.25-meter Ritchey-Chretien reflector with a focal length of 16 m has two focuses and intended for photometric and polarimetric observations. 5-channel photopolarimeter developed by V. Piirola is mounted at the main focus, CCD-photometer - at the auxiliary focus. The telescope is used for photometric and polarimetric observations of various space objects: variable stars of different types, active galactic nuclei, asteroids, comets.

Primary mirror diameter1.25 m
Focal length16 m
Optical systemRitchey-Chretien (f/12.8)
Equipment Photopolarimeter by V. Piirola
CCD with a focus reductor
Coordinates44°43′37″ N; 34°01′02″ E

Equipment

CCD-camera ProLine PL230

Characteristics

Sensore2v CCD230-42
Focusing deviceDigital Atlas Focuser
Filter wheelCFW-2-7 with UBVRI filters
Frame size2048×2048 pixels, 10′.9×10′.9
Pixel size15 μm, 0″.32/pixel
Readnoise12.9e-
Gain1.94
Bias1025.3
Well Depth125194.0 e-

A focus reductor for the CCD photometer developed by Valeriy Yuzefovich Terebizh and manufactured at the optical workshop of CrAO was mounted in September 2014.

The initiator and inspirer of the automatic computer-controlled telescope AZT-11 was Professor, Doctor of Physics and Mathematics, Head of the Department of physics of stars and galaxies of CrAO Vladimir Borisovich Nikonov.

The telescope was put into operation on February 20, 1981. Since then the telescope has been actively used by researchers of the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory and researchers from other astronomical institutions of the CIS countries in high-precision photometric, polarimetric and spectrophotometric observations of non-stationary stars, active galactic nuclei and small bodies of the solar system. On average, the telescope operates about 1000 hours per year, excluding time for technical maintenance, scheduled maintenance and repair.

The telescope is used in works on the following research topics:

  • Photopolarimetry of active galactic nuclei: Seyfert galaxies, quasars and BL Lac objects.
  • Photopolarimetry of novae and supernovae, RS CVn and T Tauri stars, Mira-type stars.
  • Photopolarimetry of close binary systems at the late stages of evolution - cataclysmic variables, including selected magnetic interacting binary systems - polars.
  • Photopolarimetry of young stars with protoplanetary disks with the aim of studying their structure and origin of activity cycles of stars.
  • Photometric study of the solar-type activity in stars of different masses and ages in order to acquire information about their variability on time scales from fractions of a second to tens of years and analysis of spottedness and processes of flare development in individual stars.
  • Polarimetric and photometric observations of selected comets and asteroids for studying their physical characteristics - composition and structure of the surface.

All the above-mentioned studies are carried out within the cooperative programs involving researchers from various scientific institutions in Russia and other countries (Ukraine, Finland, France, Canada, Bulgaria, Slovakia, etc.).

The unique information about brightness, colors and polarization of a wide variety of objects has been acquired over the time of telescope operation. These data formed the basis for more than 400 research papers published in Russian and foreign specialized journals and reports at the international conferences and symposiums. Two doctoral and more than 10 PhD dissertations have been defended based on data taken with AZT-11.