Kryoneri Observatory has been given an official code by the Minor Planet Center of the International Astronomical Union (IAU). The code is “L10”. The code was issued to facilitate future observations of minor bodies in the solar system, such as asteroids.
On June 30th, the National Observatory of Athens and the Youth Cultural Society of Kryoneri hosted an open night for Asteroid Day 2017 at Kryoneri Observatory. Over 400 people attended the event, which included a tour of the 1.2m Kryoneri telescope, viewing of the Moon, planets and other celestial objects through telescopes set up by members of the Hellenic Astronomical Union, and talks by Dr. Bonanos on the danger posed by near-earth asteroids and by Dr. Dapergolas on the Kryoneri telescope.
Kryoneri Observatory has resumed regular operations as of March 2017, with the start of the 22-month NELIOTA lunar monitoring campaign. NELIOTA has so far detected 5 lunar impact flashes with the upgraded 1.2m Kryoneri telescope. More information on the status of the project and the parameters of all flashes can be found on the NELIOTA website.
The NELIOTA project has completed its 2-month commissioning phase, which started in January 2017. The lunar observations are being used to validate the performance of the software and fine-tune the detection algorithm. The 22-month observational campaign will begin on March 21, 2017. An image of the non-illuminated side of the Moon obtained by NELIOTA on February 1, 2017 is shown.
The NELIOTA project has passed the first acceptance test by ESA, demonstrating a successful integration of the NELIOTA software to the system. The next couple months will involve futher tests to evaluate the performance of the telescope and prime focus instrument, as well as lunar monitoring observations to validate the performance of the software.
The second phase of the retrofit of the 1.2m Kryoneri telescope was completed by DFM Engineering, Inc. at the end of June, as scheduled. The prime focus instrument was installed and is operating well. First light images of the Moon were obtained using the new Andor Zyla fast-frame cameras on June 28, 2016. One of these images is shown here. Testing of the components is planned for the rest of the summer, along with the integration of the NELIOTA software.
On May 5, the engineers from DFM Engineering, Inc. (Mark Kelley and Richard Neel) with the help of NOA staff completed the first phase of the retrofit of the 1.2 m Kryoneri telescope. The telescope is now operated through a computer controlled system and the new mechanical parts of the telescope and dome are in full operation. The second phase of the telescope retrofit will be completed in June.
On April 6, two engineers from DFM Engineering, Inc. (Mark Kelley and Richard Neel) arrived and started working at Kryoneri Observatory. The purpose of their month-long visit will be to carry out the mechanical upgrade of the 1.2 m Kryoneri telescope for the NELIOTA project.