Wise Observatory Projects

    Past Project Ongoing Project

LAIWO - Large Area Imager for the Wise Observatory
Lensed Quasars Monitoring
Palomar-Green (PG) quasars monitoring project
TAVAS - Tel Aviv Astronomical Variability Survey

CONCAM at the Wise Observatory

    A panoramic CCD camera saw its first-light on the roof of the Wise Observatory in Mizpe Ramon on 27 June 2001. The instrument consists of an automatic CCD camera coupled to a fish-eye lens and a computer. It operates automatically taking pictures of the night sky throughout the night.

    The original FITS images with corresponding JPEGs and latest MOVIES are locally archived in

This first-light image obtained before the final adjustments of the CONCAM, shows Mars in the south-west (the bright elongated spot at the bottom of the frame). The bright star near the center, next to the Milky Way is Vega, which makes the top of the summer triangle. Arcturus is setting in the west (right), barely touching the antenna. Stars as faint as sixth magnitude can be seen in the image, which was exposed for three minutes.

LAIWO - Large Area Imager for the Wise Observatory

    LAIWO is an array of four CCDs, 4k x 4k pixels each. The overall field of view is one square degree, with a pixel scale of 0.44 arcsec/pixel. Its uses will include a search for transiting extrasolar planets. The project is a collaboration between the Wise Observatory at Tel Aviv University, Max-Planck-Institute for Astronomy (MPIA) in Heidelberg, and the Institute for Astrophysics, University of Goettingen.

Lensed Quasars Monitoring project

    Using the Wise observatory 1m telescope we monitor lensed quasars, in order to detect the time-delay between the images.

MicroFUN project

    The Wise Observatory takes part in MicroFUN, a Microlensing Follow-Up Network. Microfun follows up ongoing microlensing events detected by the OGLE and MOA collaborations toward the Galactic bulge. The more closely spaced monitoring provided by the network allows the detection of deviations of the light curves from those of point lenses and sources. The network's combined data can reveal binary lenses and sources, parallax effects, extended source effects, and the presence of planets near the lens or the source. Wise Observatory contributes to the network during the summer months, when the Galactic center is visible.

Palomar-Green (PG) quasars monitoring project

    The Palomar-Green (PG) quasars monitoring project took place at the Wise Observatory from 1991 to 1998. In this project about a third of the PG quasars were monitored monthly in B and R bands and about half of these were monitored spectrophotometrically (with additional observations from Steward Observatory). The project results, which are descried in the papers linked, are one of the best quasars variability studies ever done, and enabled to determine, for the first time, the relationships between the broad-line region size, the black hole mass, and the luminosity, of Active Galactic Nuclei.

SpaceGuard project : Knowledge Center on NEOs

TAUVEX project: Tel Aviv University UV EXplorer

TAVAS - Tel Aviv Astronomical Variability Survey

    The Tel-Aviv Astronomical Variability Survey (TAVAS; PI: Dan Maoz) is an imaging survey of about 150 square degrees, distributed in some 300 individual Galactic and extragalactic fields distributed over the sky. Observations were carried out between January 2004 and September 2006 using the Wise Observatory 1m telescope with the Maala focal reimager and the SITe 2k x 4k CCD. Observations (2 x 210 s) were unfiltered, with the instrument+CCD response resulting in an effective broad R bandpass, typically reaching R=21 mag with S/N=5. Objects fainter than about 15 mag are unsaturated. The typical field's cadence was two weeks. After excising regions of large optical distortion, each final TAVAS field has dimensions of 2k x 3k pixels with 1"/pixel, or 30' x 55'. Useful TAVAS data were obtained during more than 300 nights, resulting in over 5000 images. See Elinor Medezinski's MSc thesis for additional technical details on TAVAS motivation, instrumentation, survey fields, data characteristics, survey strategy/scheduling, data reduction, and data products. Observations by TAVAS have been published in several papers on microlensing searches for extrasolar planets, and on lensed quasar time delays. In particular, TAVAS measurements were critical in the discovery via microlensing of the ``Jupiter'' in the extrasolar planetary system OGLE-2006-BLG-199Lb,c, the first extrasolar system that resembles the solar system. TAVAS contributed 53 epochs to the measurement of the time delays between lensed images of the quasar SDSSJ1004+4112, a quasar quintuply lensed by a cluster of galaxies. TAVAS data are being incorporated into Peter Nugent's Deep Sky project.

WET project

    The Wise Observatory is taking an active part in the international network of optical observatories entitled the Whole Earth Telescope. A group of observatories, extending over 6 continents, are observing together for about 10 or more days one and the same astronomical object. The distribution of the observing station around Earth, enables a continuous photometric monitoring of the target object for the entire duration of such a long period of time. The "temporal spectroscopy" of variable stars provides observational data on masses and on the internal structure of stars that have no parallel in any other mode of astronomical observations.
    See also the Fast Photometry Project of the Wise Observatory.

WHAT ( Wise observatory Hungarian-made Automated Telescope )

    WHAT is a small robotic telescope located at the Wise Observatory. The telescope is designed to be fully automated and be controlled remotely via a web-interface. The WHAT consists of a Canon 200 mm f/1.8 lens and an Apogee AP10 2048x2048 pixel CCD, yielding an 8.2x8.2 degree field of view.
    The project is a collaboration between the Wise Observatory of the Tel-Aviv University and Konkoly Observatory of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

WOOTS ( Wise Observatory Optical Transient Search )

    The Wise Observatory Optical Transients Search (WOOTS) is a program to find Supernovae (SNe) and other optical transients in 163 medium-redshift (z between 0.06 and 0.2) Abell galaxy clusters, using the Wise Observatory 1m telescope in Israel.