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Planet Search Survey Telescope

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PSST at Lowell Observatory on Anderson Mesa. PSST is a fully automated small telescope that is part of the TrES network searching for extrasolar planets using the transit method.

The Planet Search Survey telescope (PSST) is a wide-field, small telescope designed to discover extrasolar giant planets in short-period orbits. The discovery approach is to detect the small decrease in brightness of a star when a planet passes in front of the stellar disk, an event called a transit. Because this can only occur if the planet's orbit is close to edge-on, and because most stars do not have giant planets in small orbits, the telescope must monitor thousands of stars simultaneously every clear night for a period of weeks. The PSST project is part of a larger collaboration called TrES that also includes the STARE and SLEUTH projects. The TrES network discovered its first planet in 2004, and the largest exoplanet in 2007. For details on this latest discovery, visit the press release and background page here.


Lowell Telescope Specification chart

Perkins 72" Hall 42" LONEOS 31" 21"
Longitude 111° 32' 09.3" 111° 32' 07.9" 111° 32.2' 111° 32' 09.0" 111° 39' 59.2"
Latitude +35° 05' 48.6" +35° 05' 48.3" +35° 05.8' +35° 05' 54.6" +35° 12' 10.4"
Altitude 7236ft. (2206m) 7236ft. (2206m) 7236ft. (2206m) 7243ft. (2208m) 7260ft. (2213m)
Dp 72" (1.8m) 41" (1.04m) * 31/29.5" (0.79/0.75m) 20.78 (0.53m)
F/# 17.5 8.06 * 15 15.9
EFI 1256.5" (31.93m) 330.39" (8.392m) * 464" (11.78m) 332.5" (8.44m)
Scale ("/mm) 6.45 24.58 * 17.5 24.3
BFI 51.5" (1.30m) 29.9" (0.759m) * 25" (0.63m) 20" (0.51m)
Fp/# 4.18 4.05 * 5.0 3.4
FLp 300.6" (7.635m) 166.06" (4.218m) * 155" (3.94m) 70.0" (1.77m)
Dsa 16.3" (0.41m) 16.6" (0.422m) * 9.0" (0.22m) 4.6" (0.12m)
Is 284.1" (7.22m) 130.43" (3.313m) * 134.9" (3.43m) 72.7" (1.85m)
Os 68.0" (1.72m) 65.51" (1.664m) * 45.1" (1.14m) 15.3" (0.39m)
Ms 232.6" (5.91m) 100.56" (2.554m) * 109.9" (2.79m) 54.7" (1.39m)
mag 4.2 1.990 * 3.0 4.7
K1 -1.0 -1.306 * -1.00 -1.00
K2 -3.65 -14.945 * -5.01 -3.35

1) Longitude and latitude are good to about 0.2.
2) The altitudes are good to about 1 meter.
4) The Hall F/8 is a Ritchey-Chretien telescope.
5) The 31inch primary if F/5. However, it is stopped down to 29.5 inches.
6) Only the Hall F/8 has a known optimum back focal distance.
7) The conic constant is defined such that 0 is a circle and -1 is a parabola.
8) Dsa is the diameter of the axial cone at the secondary. The diameter of the secondary is 1 to 2 inches larger than Dsa.

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