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RIT professor collaborates on new astronomical camera, teaches at University of Tokyo

Saturday, November 12, 2016

This article was written by Susan Gawlowicz and originally published in the University News & Events on Friday, November 11 - 2016. You can find the original article here.

Rochester Institute of Technology professor Michael Richmond is a visiting professor for the fall term at the University of Tokyo’s Research Center for the Early Universe. He is teaching a graduate course called “A field guide to exoplanets” and collaborating with colleagues at the university.

Richmond works with scientists at the center who are building a new type of astronomical camera for the 105-centimeter Kiso Schmidt Telescope at the Kiso Observatory in the mountains of central Japan. The Tomo-e Gozen project uses a large array of wide-field CMOS detectors, a type of solid-state detector recently applied to astronomy to capture images faster than CCDs, or charge-coupled detectors. CCDs are the standard technology used in astronomical imaging and in some consumer electronics.

“The goal is to see if any new sort of astronomical source appears in the sky if you look repeatedly with short exposure times,” said Richmond, a professor in RIT’s School of Physics and Astronomy. Richmond will analyze data from the new camera at RIT. He will return to Japan in the spring as a visiting professor at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, where he will teach a class and work again with the Tome-e camera team.

RIT, in 2015, signed a memorandum of understanding with the University of Tokyo to facilitate the exchange of students and faculty, and to increase collaborative research activities between the two universities.University of Tokyo is a member of the International Alliance of Research Universities, a partnership among the world’s leading research-intensive universities, including Princeton University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and ETH Zurich.