The Condor Array Telescope or “Condor” is an “array telescope” consisting of six off-the-shelf refracting telescopes coupled with six off-the-shelf large-format CMOS camera all mounted onto a common mount. The telescope is specifically designed to (1) detect and identify galaxies and galaxy features of extremely low brightness, (2) monitor stars and other point sources at a rapid cadence, and (3) study the gaseous signatures of star birth and star death. The telescope was deployed to a dark site near Animas, New Mexico last spring and was commissioned and calibrated over the course of last summer and autumn. In this lecture (which will be broadcast live from Paris, France), Prof. Lanzetta will report the current status of the telescope and the project and will describe the observations that Condor has obtained over its first year of operation. Prof. Lanzetta will specifically discuss the current state of Condor’s search for Earth-like planets in the habitable zones of white dwarfs.
Kenneth M. Lanzetta is a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy of Stony Brook University. He obtained a BA in physics from the University of Pennsylvania in 1983 and a PhD in physics from the University of Pittsburgh in 1988. From there he spent two years as a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Astronomy of the University of Cambridge in England and then four years as a postdoctoral researcher and Hubble Fellow at the Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences of the University of California, San Diego before taking a position as assistant professor at Stony Brook University in 1994. He was promoted to associate professor in 1997 and to professor in 2001. His research interests involve extragalactic astronomy and cosmology, including issues of galaxy formation and evolution, quasar absorption lines, evolution of the intergalactic medium, detection and identification of faint, high-redshift galaxies, and development and application of optimal image processing techniques utilizing large-scale scientific computing facilities.