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Centre for astrophysics and planetary science

The Astronomy and Space Science Group at the University of Kent manages the following three facilities:

The Beacon Observatory

This is a 17″ Astrograph from Plane Wave Instruments with a 4k x 4k CCD and a BVRIH-alpha filter set as well as a 90 frames per second camera. The new dome and telescope have now been installed and we have started with regular observing.

The Light Gas Gun

The light gas gun (LGG) is used for investigations of hypervelocity impact phenomena. Bodies in the Solar System are subject to such impacts (e.g. craters on the Moon and the Earth) and these are understood partly via experiment in the laboratory. For example, experiments have recently been carried out in our laboratory at Canterbury which have used ices as the target material (simulating impacts on the icy surfaces of the moons of the outer planets).

Tor – High Performance Computing Cluster

The Tor cluster is a computational server configured as a resource for computational jobs of a scale too large for desktop computing, but not requiring the immense resources and administrative processes required to run on the major national HPC resources for which time can be requested (SCIAMA, Archer and similar)