Neorockers and Dart….Focus on DART – OPTiK
The DART – OPTiK team is a collaboration of researchers from the University of Edinburgh, STFC UKRI, Technical University of Kenya and the Turkana Basin Institute. Our Neorocker Colin Snodgrass is part of this team.
With support from the Europlanet Coordination of Ground-based Observations Networking Activity and Ambassadors’ Programme, they have been working at the TBI base in Ileret to set up a portable telescope which can take observations of the equatorial sky, including the impact of NASA’s DART mission.
This portable telescope will be able to observe the impact as it happens (even before the large observatories in the Americas). After the impact, the telescope will be able to monitor the orbit of the moon using its lightcurve.
That’s not all: the telescope will also be used to do astronomical tests to assess whether the site is suitable for more permanent observatory to be built there in the future. This work is run in collaboration with the Kenya Optical Telescope Initiative (KOTI), the Technical University of Kenya and the Kenya Space Agency. AND the team has been working with the local community to run school workshops and an open night at the base.
Image from Dart-Optik Twitter