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Bulletin of the Eastbay Astronomical Society
Founded in 1924 at Chabot Observatory, Oakland, California
Volume 77, Number 3, November 2000


Front Page.

Roberts Rules. President Carter Roberts’ message.
Sky Lore for the Month. Andromeda


Martian Longhorns. By Ellis Myers
News from the Beyond.
Events of other organizations
Other Stuff


The Katzman Automatic Imaging Telescope

Dr. Weidong Li
Department of Astronomy, UC Berkeley

Saturday, 11 November, 2000
General Meeting 7:31 p.m.
Lecture 8:20 p.m.
Chabot Space & Science Center, 10000 Skyline Boulevard, Oakland, California


Dr. Weidong Li with Prof. Alex Filippenko and the Katzman Automatic Imaging Telescope at Lick Observatory.Dr. Weidong Li with Prof. Alex Filippenko andhe Katzman Automatic Imaging Telescope at Lick Observatory.Dr. Weidong Li with Prof. Alex Filippenko and the Katzman Automatic Imaging Telescope at Lick Observatory


Located at Lick Observatory atop Mount Hamilton just east of San Jose, the Katzman Automatic Imaging Telescope (KAIT) is an entirely robotic telescope dedicated to the search for supernovae and the monitoring of celestial objects. It is a 30-inch reflecting telescope equipped with a CCD camera and an automatic guider. The Lick Observatory Supernova Search (LOSS), which is carried out with KAIT, is the world’s most successful nearby-supernova search, and has found 90 supernovae in the past two and a half years.

This talk will reveal the secrets of the Katzman Automatic Imaging Telescope: the hardware that makes robotic observation possible, and the software that detects the supernovae automatically. The talk will also include some of the highlights of the KAIT discoveries: the cool supernova discoveries that became the target of opportunity objects for the Hubble Space Telescope and the Chandra X-ray Telescope, the novae in the Andromeda Galaxy, and two comets. Science from KAIT observations will also be briefly discussed.
  Weidong Li reported the discovery of SN 2000dv in Ursa Major on KAIT images taken on October 17.5 and 18.5 UT. Both images show the new object at magnitude about 18.0. An image taken on April 8.2 showed nothing at the position of the supernova (limiting magnitude about 19.5).
Dr. Weidong Li has been interested in astronomy since he was a kid. He received his Ph. D. degree in 1995 from the Astronomy Department of Beijing Normal University. His thesis was on supernovae, and he quickly became fascinated by those powerful stellar explosions. Dr. Li went to the Beijing Astronomical Observatory (BAO) of the Chinese Academy of Science in 1995. As a postdoc for two years, he established the BAO Supernova Survey (BAOSS), which quickly became the world’s most successful nearby-supernova search. BAOSS found six SNe in 1996 and 15 in 1997.

Dr. Li joined the group of Professor Alex Filippenko at the University of California at Berkeley in 1997. He has worked on the Lick Observatory Supernova Search with the Katzman Automatic Imaging Telescope ever since. Besides making a remarkable number of supernova discoveries, Dr. Li also works on observations and theories of supernovae, using some of the world’s most powerful telescopes (e.g., the Hubble Space Telescope and the 10-meter Keck telescopes).


DINNER WITH THE SPEAKER
5:27 pm, Saturday, 11 November 2000
PEARL OF SIAM RESTAURANT
5498 College Avenue, Oakland (510) 420-8600
Please call Betty Neall at 510/533-2394 by Friday, 10 November to confirm your place. Note the time has been advanced to allow everyone to be able to get to the meeting promptly at 7:31 pm.



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