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This is just a note from a happy MaxMax customer.
Back in 2007 you performed a mod on a Canon 5D which we have used to
search for Vulcanoid asteroids. You did an excellent job of
maintaining a clean sensor when you replaced the filter and we appreciated the
Last year we used the camera during a total solar
eclipse in the Gobi (in far NW China) to image stars as faint as +13.5
magnitude. And while we have not detected any Vulcanoid asteroids (perhaps
due to their size being smaller than 4 km in diameter, or their shyness, or
perhaps due to the fact that they may not exist :-)) we set a record for imaging
stars that were 10 billion billion times fainter than the Sun that were only a
few degrees from the Solar disc.
Our near-IR imaging success has found applications
outside Astronomy as well. We used the 5D at the Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii
to discover near-IR images a previously unknown magma pocket under the floor of
the Kilauea caldera, and to show that lava, ejected from lava tube (near
Kalapana, below the Pu'u O'o vent) was oscillating at 14 Hz due to
shock waves traveling through an underground lava tube.
And even farther afield, we used the 5D to help a
forestry research project calibrate their near-IR imagers: cameras
that are being used to detect the early onset of beetle and fungus
attacks in trees.
Each time we were happy to refer research teams to
your company and recommend that they make use of your near-IR conversion
services and/or purchase near-IR cameras from your site.
We are in the process of updating our Vulcanoid search
article that was published in a collection of NASA/S&T articles contained
in a eclipse booklet published by Sky & Telescope for eclipse chasers.
Our updated article will include a recommendation that Vulcanoid
searches image in the near-IR wavelengths. We plan to briefly mention your
company in our article (subject to the S&T editorial policy) as a good
source for near IR cameras. We plan to say something like:
technique that holds great promise is to use cameras that are sensitive to both
visual and near IR wavelengths. The surface temperature of objects
residing within the stable Vulcanoid zone could be as high as 825°C (1517°F)
due to their close proximity to the Sun. Such objects are expected to be
strong radiators in the IR portion of the spectrum. SLR cameras made
sensitive to the near IR, such as those modified by MaxMax (www.maxmax.com),
offer a relatively inexpensive near IR detector solution while avoiding the
cooling and thermal shield problems associated with chilled mid and far IR
sensors. A near IR sensitive SLR camera combined with a deep red filter
such as a Wratten RG 695 (092) filter is an excellent choice for Vulcanoid
Landon Curt Noll
Fremont Peak Observatory
American Astronomical Society Associate member
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