Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT)

Stony Brook University is part of the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) Collaboration. ACT is a six-metre telescope on Cerro Toco in the Atacama Desert in the north of Chile. It is designed to make high-resolution, millimeter-wavelength surveys of the sky in order to study the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB). The main goals of this project are to measure the parameters that describe the early Universe and to map out the cosmic growth of structure.

Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST)

SBU Astronomer Fred Walter (right) at an LSST meeting

The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) is a $500 million telescope that will image half the night sky every three days. LSST will see objects that are 400-million times fainter than those we can see with the naked eye. The data stream that will be generated is far greater than any astronomical endeavor to date, at about 30 terabytes per night. This instrument will become operational in 2020, and it will revolutionize all fields of astronomy.

Brookhaven National Lab (BNL) has been a partner institution in LSST for almost a decade, has a major role in the development of the LSST camera, and has built up a small Cosmology group to extract science from the LSST. Several faculty at Stony Brook are members of the LSST collaboration, and actively partner with LSST scientists at BNL to lay the theoretical, computational, and instrumental groundwork to enable the LSST science goals.

SMARTS telescopes
the SMARTS telescopes

SMARTS telescopes

Stony Brook University is one of the founding members of the SMARTS consortium. The SMARTS consortium was organized to keep open and operating the small telescopes at the Cerro Tololo Interamerican Observatory. The prime source of information about SMARTS is the main SMARTS web page at Yale university.

Mount Stony Brook

Mt. Stony Brook Meade
the 14" telescope
The Mount Stony Brook Observatory consists of a new computerized Meade 14 inch LX200-ACF telescope permanently mounted in a dome on the roof of our building. We have 2 CCD cameras (+ filter wheel) and a spectrograph that can be used with it, as well as an assortment of eyepieces. The telescope is currently used for graduate and undergraduate classes and labs and during our Astronomy Open Nights. Additionally, a large number of smaller 8" telescopes are also available for use.

The roof of the ESS building is designed for moderate sized crowds (~50 people), and students in the introductory undergraduate astronomy courses are frequently invited up for viewing.

Ground-Based Observatories

Stony Brook astronomers make regular use of the wide array of instrumentation available to contemporary astronomy. Stony Brook faculty and graduate students are frequent users of the facilities of the National Optical Astronomy Observatories such as the Cerro Tololo Interamerican Observatory, the National Radio Astronomy Observatories, the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF) on Mauna Kea, the Naval Prototype Optical Interferometer (NPOI), the Gemini, Keck, the CHARA Array, IRAM observatories, the Combined Array for Research in Millimeter Astronomy (CARMA), the Nobeyama 45m telescope, and the Subaru telescope.

Space Missions

Stony Brook faculty have been principal investigators on programs using the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), the Chandra X-ray Observatory, XMM-Newton X-ray Observatory, Herschel telescope and the Spitzer Space Telescope. Faculty and students routinely use archival data from these and other NASA missions in the course of their research. Graduate students routinely participate in analysis of data obtained from these and other missions, and use these data in the PhD theses.