A rendering of the Cryogenic Near Infrared Spectropolarimeter that will be used to measure how the magnetic fields on the sun affect the near-Earth space environment. Credit: IfA/UH
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -
A major contract has been awarded to the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy to Cryogenic Near Infrared Spectropolarimeter (CryoNIRSP) for the new solar telescope, which is currently under construction on Haleakala.
According to an announcement made by The National Science Foundation and the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST), the contract awarded UH to build the complex $5 million instrument will allow astronomers to measure the solar magnetism beyond the sun in order to understand how that energy interacts with Earth’s space environment.
“The CryoNIRSP instrument will be one of the largest astronomical instruments the IfA has built," said leader of the CryoNIRSP team on Maui and Principal Investigator, Jeff Kuhn. "It will provide the international community with a detector that brings nighttime sensitivity for observing the relatively faint outer atmosphere of the sun to the world’s largest daytime telescope.”
Controlling the explosive energy that affects our technology and brightness variability that has a direct effect on the Earth's climate, Kuhn says the sun's magnetism causes most of the sun's influence on Earth.
The CryoNIRSP will be built at the UH Advanced Technology Research Center on Maui and will be completed in time for first-light observations with DKIST in 2019.