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Proceedings Article

The 4m international liquid mirror telescope (ILMT)

[+] Author Affiliations
J. Surdej, O. Absil, P. Bartczak, J.-F. Claeskens, M. De Becker, D. Defrère, O. Garcet, C. Jean, C. Libbrecht, A. Magette, J. Manfroid, D. Mawet, Th. Nakos, J. Poels, A. Pospieszalska, P. Riaud, P.-G. Sprimont, J.-P. Swings

Institut d'Astrophysique et de Géophysique, Liège Univ. (Belgium)

E. Borra

Laval Univ. (Canada)

J.-P. Chisogne, B. Collin, S. Denis, C. Flebus, P. Gloesener

Advanced Mechanical and Optical Systems (Belgium)

P. Lampens

Royal Observatory of Belgium (Belgium)

N. Ninane

Ctr. Spatial de Liège, Liège Univ. (Belgium)

Proc. SPIE 6267, Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes, 626704 (June 27, 2006); doi:10.1117/12.671695
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From Conference Volume 6267

  • Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes
  • Larry M. Stepp
  • Orlando, FL | May 24, 2006


The entire funding has recently been obtained in Belgium for the construction of a 4m Liquid Mirror Telescope. Its prime focus will be equipped with a semi-conventional glass corrector allowing to correct for the TDI effect and a thinned, high quantum efficiency, 4K × 4K pixel equivalent CCD camera. It will be capable of subarcsecond imaging in the i'(760 nm) and possibly r', g' band(s) over a field of ~ 30' in diameter. This facility will be entirely dedicated to a deep photometric and astrometric variability survey over a period of ~ 5 years. In this paper, the working principle of liquid mirror telescopes is first recalled, along with the advantages and disadvantages of the latter over classical telescopes. Several science cases are described. For a good access to one of the galactic poles, the best image quality sites for the ILMT are located either in Northern Chile (latitude near -29°30') or in North-East India (Nainital Hills, latitude near +29°30'). At those geographic latitudes, a deep (i' = 22.5 mag.) survey will approximately cover 90 square degrees at high galactic latitude, which is very useful for gravitational lensing studies as well as for the identification of various classes of interesting galactic and extragalactic objects (cf. microlensed stars, supernovae, clusters, etc.). A description of the telescope, its instrumentation and the handling of the data is also presented.

© (2006) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.

J. Surdej ; O. Absil ; P. Bartczak ; E. Borra ; J.-P. Chisogne, et al.
"The 4m international liquid mirror telescope (ILMT)", Proc. SPIE 6267, Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes, 626704 (June 27, 2006); doi:10.1117/12.671695; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/12.671695

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