In March, the Wisconsin H-Alpha Mapper (WHAM) completed a two-month journey to Cerro Tololo in the foothills of the Chilean Andes. Designed and operated by researchers in the Department of Astronomy, WHAM spent a decade observing the night sky from Kitt Peak, Arizona. WHAM was originally developed to survey the northern sky for ionized gas in the Milky Way and ended up discovering a new component of the galaxy referred to as the Reynold’s Layer after UW Professor Emeritus Ron Reynolds.
Last year, under the leadership of Associate Scientist Matt Haffner, the instrument was brought back to Wisconsin’s Pine Bluff Observatory for refurbishing by the staff of the department’s Space Astronomy Lab. A team of staff and students from UW and the University of Sydney installed it in Chile, soon to begin surveying the southern sky.