SAAO is currently commissioning a new 1-metre alt-az telescope for use by the local and international astronomical community. The telescope has been named Lesedi – meaning light or enlightenment in Sesotho – a name selected from competition entries submitted by South Africa’s Grade 6-12 learners. The telescope will be offered for traditional observing proposals in week-long blocks, as well as service applications, in due course.
The telescope has two identical Nasmyth foci, with high throughput down to UV wavelengths. A custom-made wide-field camera – designed and built at SAAO – is currently being developed to exploit the widest field-of-view of any of our telescopes. In the interim period, a SHOC instrument with UBVRI and clear filters will be offered. SHOC has a field-of-view of 5.7×5.7 arcmin2 on the new telescope. The telescope’s basic parameters are given in the Table below.
|Nasmyth focus||f/8, 25.8 arcsec/mm|
|Field of view||42.9′ diameter|
SHOC (UBVRI+clear) – FOV: 5.7×5.7 arcmin2
|Future Instrumentation|| WiNCam (Wide-field Nasmyth Camera) – FOV: ~40×40 arcmin2
Spectrograph – specification TBD
|Accessories||Autoguider on each Nasmyth port|
Calls for proposals will be announced on the web page and by email to our usual mailing list once commissioning is complete.