FRAM main optical tube assembly is 12 inch (305 mm) f/10
Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope with 0.66×
reducer on Paramount ME mount. There are also 200 mm photographic lens for wide field imaging and
guiding telescope piggybacked on the main OTA. Both main instruments
(SCT and 200 mm lens) are equipped
with G2-1600 CCD cameras with internal filter wheel with UBVRI
photometric filters. Guiding telescope uses G1-0300 CCD camera. The
whole setup is controlled by RTS2 software package.
FRAM telescope with G2-1600 CCD cameras
The telescope is located in the independent building, which roof
can be opened. The building is located near the Los Leones fluorescent
FRAM at Los Leones, Argentina
FRAM telescope observes standard star fields through photometric
filters, which allows assessment of atmospheric extinction. Extinction
measurement is important for monitoring of traces caused by cosmic
particles in the upper atmosphere, which is the main Pierre Auger
observing program. In addition to standard star fields FRAM also
observes traces themselves—when the
fluorescent detector registers a particle shower, FRAM starts
observing of the shower traces.
FRAM under the southern sky
FRAM spare observing time is used for other observations. Because
the telescope operation is fully robotic (it is controlled remotely
and does not require observer to be physically present), it allows
northern-hemisphere based astronomers to observe otherwise unreachable
southern-hemisphere objects. For instance Martin Masek rediscovered
comet 260P/McNaught using FRAM or Zdenek Sekanina used FRAM
observations to publish a broad study about comet C/2011 W3
(Lovejoy) etc. The telescope also performs photometric
measurements of variable stars and comets as well as astrometry of
near-Earth asteroids including NEOCP objects.
All images on this page courtesy of Martin Masek.