Huntsman Telescope

Huntsman Telescope

Photo of Huntsman lens array

What is Huntsman?

The Huntsman Telescope is designed to take extremely faint images of astronomical objects in the Southern sky.

Huntsman is made up from an array of Canon telephoto lenses, inspired by the innovative Dragonfly Telephoto Array.

Huntsman will help answer some outstanding questions in modern astrophysics research:

  • Galaxy formation and evolution, including stellar disk formation
  • Galaxy growth through the assembly of satellite galaxies
  • Mitigating and understanding gas turbulence in the Galactic interstellar medium
  • Understand the relationship between stellar and cold neutral hydrogen gas assembly
  • The number of long-period exoplanets around TESS stellar systems

Photo of Celestron RASA 11" telescope on the Huntsman arrayWhat are we doing now?

At the moment the Huntsman team are tuning the fully automated observing mode of Huntsman.

Huntsman will open itself each night (if the skies are clear), select the best target and starting collecting data.

The automated telescope operations use open source code available here, based upon the PANOPTES Observatory Control System.

Our first goal is to obtain data using both the Canon lenses and a more conventional astronomical telescope, which is the large white and orange tube at the top Huntsman in the photo.

Photo of Huntsman dome from a droneWhere is Huntsman?

Huntsman is located in Australia at Siding Spring Observatory, a 7-hour drive from Sydney, Australia.

As shown in the photograph taken by @HoseinHashemi9, Huntsman is located about 1,165 metres (3,822 ft) above sea level in the Warrumbungle National Park on Mount Woorat.

The surrounding communities are keen on helping astronomers see their faint targets by minimising the use of street lamps at night to reduce light pollution.

Photo of students sitting on Huntsman catwalk Want to get involved?

Follow our latest developments and ask us questions on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Visit Macquarie Observatory in Sydney, Australia for our weekly observing sessions.

Consider obtaining a Bachelor of Science with a Major in Astronomy and Astrophysics (the only one available in NSW) at Macquarie University and you'll get to visit and use Huntsman during your degree.

Use or contribute to our open source image processing and observatory control python code at our Github page.

Check out the related space telescope mission to obtain extremely faint images from a satellite named SkyHopper.

Contact Lee Spitler, the Principal Investigator of Huntsman, if you:

  • are an astronomer interested in collaborating
  • have any general or technical questions about Huntsman
  • would like him or someone on his team to give a talk about Huntsman
  • are a keen undergrad with a strong background in astronomy, physics, statistics or computing and are interested in working on a summer/winter project or as a Masters or PhD student (check out the current listing of projects here)

The Huntsman Collaboration

Technical and science team

Amir Ebadati BazkiaeiMacquarie PhD studentexpert in mock galaxy imaging
Sarah CaddyMacquarie Masters studentexpert in the "Huntsman in Space" efforts
Wilfred GeeMacquarie PhD studentsoftware guru and small aperture telescope expert
Anthony HortonAAO-MQ Instrument ScientistHuntsman technical lead
Steve LeeANU AAT Head Night Assistantexpert in deploying automated telescopes
Fergus LongbottomMacquarie PhD studentimaging analysis expert
Jaime Andrés Alvarado MontesMacquarie Masters studentexoplanet monitoring expert
Lee SpitlerMacquarie academicHuntsman Principal Investigator

Science team

Erwin de BlokASTRONlead of MHONGOOSE survey of deep HI gas
Joanne DawsonMacquarie UniversityExpert in gas and dust in the Milky Way
Caroline FosterUniv. of SydneyGalaxy dynamics and stellar populations expert
Baerbel KoribalskiCSIROExpert in HI gas observations and analysis
Jon LawrenceAustralian Astronomical Optics - MacquarieAstronomical instrumentation expert
Richard McDermidMacquarie UniversityGalaxy dynamics and stellar populations expert
Marc-Antoine Miville-DeschênesUniversité Paris SaclayGalactic ISM structures expert
Attila PoppingICRAR / Univ. of Western Australialead of IMAGINE survey of deep HI gas
Christian SchwabMacquarie UniversityAstronomical instrumentation and exoplanet expert
Daniel ZuckerMacquarie UniversitySatellite galaxy and stellar expert

photo of Huntsman telescope and team

Huntsman image of a NGC spiral galaxyHuntsman small logoThe tarantula image in Halpha taken with Huntsman.

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