Thanks to our engineer, Wilfried Steinhof, and the staff at Sutherland, the first images with the new science camera were taken on September 20 by a group of Göttingen students visiting MONET/South.

(Click to see enlarged image!)

This 12.6x12.6 arcminute image of the globular cluster Messier 20 was taken when focussing the telescope in the V-band (green) filter and so was exposed only 2 seconds.  The orange and red boxes show the size of the old Apogee (5.4x5.4 arcminutes) and SBIG (7.1x5.5 arcminutes) images, respectively.

Whereas MONET/North is still using a simple SBIG test camera, the new camera has much less noise (read-out noise of 3.1 versus 11 ADU) and practically no dark-current due to a thermoelectric-plus-water cooling system (see the complex flange, cable-wrap, and connections in the image to the right) which keeps the CCD at -60C..  
(Click to see enlarged image)


The science camera and portal will be tested during the next weeks and we hope to release MONET/South for regular use by the end of October.