From 1971 to 1997, the University of Toronto operated a 60-cm telescope in the desert mountains of north-central Chile. This small telescope provided optical astronomers with a distinctive window to the southern skies. It was the only telescope in the Southern Hemisphere operated by Canada. Further, it and the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope were the only Canadian telescopes at sites enjoying predominantly clear skies.
UTSO was located on Cerro Las Campanas, near the southern edge of the Atacama Desert (the driest in the world), where the air is clear and the atmospheric turbulence is low. Parts of the Atacama Desert in Northern Chile have not experienced any rainfall in recorded history. The rainfall at Las Campanas is less than a centimeter per year under normal conditions, and slightly higher during "El Niño." During a good year, 85% of the nights are usable and 65% are photometric. El Niño can drive the figures to as low as 70% and 50% respectively.
As a small telescope with good equipment at a clear, dark site with excellent seeing conditions, the HSHT filled a unique and very productive niche.
Helen Sawyer Hogg 60-cm Telescope University of Toronto Southern Observatory (UTSO) 01.- General Information: The 60-cm Telescope Optical System : standard cassegrain, f/15 Focal Length : 914 cm Primary Mirror : f/3.5, 213.05 cm focal length Secondary Mirror : 17.21 cm diameter Vignetting-Free Field : 10 cm diameter (37 arc min) Finder/Guide Scope : Unitron 15-cm refractor, f/10 (40 arc min field) Mount : German mount 02.- Geographical Specification of UTSO at Las Campanas Latitude : -29 00' 30" Longitude : 04h 42m 48s W (70 42' 00") Altitude : 2280 meters 03.- Computer Systems at UTSO UTSO had several computers. The names were formed by UTSO plus a sequential number (UTSO1, UTSO2 and UTSO3). All the computers had networking capabilities. UTSO2 and UTSO3 ran under OS/2, and UTSO1 under MS-DOS. In addition, a Sun SPARCstation 2 was provided for the exclusive use of the ongoing MACHO project at UTSO. Technical details of the three PCs follow: - Computer Name : UTSO1 Computer : IBM PS/2 Model 30 80286 10 MHz Math Coprocessor : 80287 RAM : 2 MB Keyboard : Enhanced LPT Ports : 1 COM Ports : 1 Display Type : Video Graphics Adapter (VGA) Mouse : serial mouse, version 6.26 Disk Drives : A: floppy drive, 3.5" (1.44 MB) C: hard drive Cabinet Type : desktop MS-DOS Version : 4.00 UTSO1 was housed in the master bedroom of Casa Canadiense, ran MS-DOS, and had Internet access. - Computer Name : UTSO2 Computer : IBM ValuePoint, 486DX 33 MHz Math Coprocessor : internal RAM : 16 MB Keyboard : Enhanced LPT Ports : 3 COM Ports : 2 Display Type : VGA Color Mouse : PS/2-style mouse, 6.25 Disk Drives : A: floppy drive, 3.5" (1.44 MB) C: hard drive (323 MB) D: hard drive (81 MB) E: worm drive (940 MB) F: CD-ROM Cabinet Type : desktop OS/2 Version : PC-DOS 2.10 UTSO2 was housed in the living room of Casa Canadiense. ATTACHED HARDWARE - MR-2000C Ethernet/IEEE 802.3 repeater unit - Corel SCSI WORM drive - HP 35480A SCSI DAT drive - Epson FX-85/185 printer INSTALLED SOFTARE - OS/2 OS/2 is a multi-tasking, multi-threaded windows- based OS. OS/2 runs not only native applications, but programs from some other environments, notably MS-DOS and MS Windows. OS/2 presents both a command-line interface and a GUI. Since the interface in general resembes MS Windows NT, a user familiar with NT will have no problems under OS/2. - WordPerfect 6.0 word processor for OS/2. - Networking programs, notably telnet, ftp, and a facility for cross-mounting between UTSO2 and UTSO3. - Novatar software for controlling the DAT drive, supporting reading and writing of DAT tapes. - Optical-disk utilities ("Diagnostic," "Status," "Format") for work with WORM drives. - MIRA 2.0 image-processing software (similar to IRAF, but for DOS/Windows and OS/2). - Megastar sky atlas (uses one CD-ROM). - Computer Name : UTSO3 Computer : IBM ValuePoint 486DX Math Coprocessor : internal RAM : 16 MB Keyboard : Enhanced LPT Ports : 3 COM Ports : 2 Display Type : VGA Color Mouse : PS/2-style mouse, 6.25 Disk Drives : A: floppy drive, 3.5" (1.44 MB) C: hard drive (323 MB) D: hard drive (202 MB) Cabinet Type : mini tower OS/2 Version : PC-DOS 2.10 This IBM computer was located in the 60-cm telescope dome. Hardware interfaces controlled the complete operation of the telescope and associated instruments. INSTALLED SOFTWARE - OS/2. - Networking programs. - Online documentation system (for manuals written locally). - WordPerfect 6.0 word processor for Windows. - PMIS 3.0 CCD acquisition software, running under OS/2 Windows. - Santa Barbara Instrument Group (SBIG) Autoguider control software for ST-4 CCD: the heart of the autoguider system for the 60-cm telescope. - Encoder readout program, for telescope pointing; written in Quick Basic. - Routine for moving CCD filter wheel; written in Quick Basic. - Efits 2.0 and Efitsbat 2.0 for PMIS, for managing the header section of FITS files produced in PMIS. The two tools are almost identical, except that Efitsbat is designed for batch-mode operation. 04.- Other Computer Systems Internet access was provided by a Sun SPARCstation, named "Charlie," in the Carnegie/Dupont 2.5-m telescope computer room near UTSO. Accounts were established for all observers, both residents and visitors. ----------------------------------------------------------- Written by Felipe Mac-Auliffe P. (Alternate Resident). Revised by Robert Garrison and Toomas Karmo, 2002 April 17. -----------------------------------------------------------(Return)