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Instrumentation at the CSO (brochure)
The CSO consists of a 10.4 m diameter Leighton telescope housed in a compact dome at 4070 m altitude near the summit of Mauna Kea, Hawaii. Instruments mounted at the Cassegrain and Nasmyth foci support spectroscopy and continuum imaging at wavelengths between 2 mm and 350 μm. Observations are carried out at night. The median zenith precipitable water vapor (PWV) is about 2 mm and short wavelength (350 μm) observations are possible when the PWV falls below 1 mm, about 25% of the time. The telescope's active surface adjustment system improves the surface accuracy to about 13 μm rms. Pointing is about 3″ rms. Observatory computers support both telescope operation and immediate data reduction. Although the CSO staff will provide orientation and limited training, inexperienced observers are encouraged to collaborate with instrument teams or experienced observers. Remote observing is supported with selected instruments.