Christian Veillet's Home Page


Aloha !...

I arrived from Observatoire de la Cote d'Azur as a French resident astronomer with the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Corporation in mid-September 1996.  On August 1, 1999, I became CFHT Senior Resident Astronomer. I am currently the CFHT Executive Director.
I have been for quite a few years the Project Manager / Project Scientist of MegaPrime, the new generation CFHT wide field imaging instrument in the visible. MegaPrime has been in operation since mid-2003 and is now on the telescope for more than 200 nights a year.

Chairing the MegaCam Survey Working Group, which prepared the CFHT Legacy Survey (CFHTLS), and later the CFHTLS Steering Group, has taken a lot of my time and energy in the past years. To stay on the Steering Group is not compatible with the Executive Director position, and these activities are now part of my past...     

 My current activities as Executive Director do not leave much time for a lot of science these days, but through collaborations with more active colleagues.  In the past years, my scientific research used to focus on two main areas, detailed hereafter. Be aware that many of the pages you will find by following the links are old!

Astrometry/Dynamics of small Solar System bodies (NEAs, TNOs, comets...)
I am using D nights and allocated time for the recovery of asteroids and comets not observed for a long time, and faint enough to be difficult targets for the various telescopes used in the asteroid detection programs. MOS in imaging mode, UH8k, then CFH12K and now MegaCam are good detectors for this kind of program. Though they are outdated, you can visit the pages on the Near Earth Asteroids and Trans-Neptunian Objects observations made for this program. 
Among some relatively recent work, I discoverd the firt binary TNO (after the pair Pluto/Charon). Have a look here for more information, and stay tuned!...  I also participated in a study of 2002 AA29, an interesting NEA which loops along the Earth's orbit, but reverses direction when it approaches our planet from either side. Look at an animation built from CFH12K images, and visit Paul Wiegert's web page on this very interesting object

Observations of the optical counterpart of Gamma Ray Bursts
With M. Boer (CESR), we got observing time from the French Time Allocation Committee for a follow-up of the GRB discoveries, to be used when needed on French time for up to 3 nights a semester. For the first time in February 1999, we had the right instrument on the telescope at the right time and I was able to make the first CFHT observations of GRB19990123. With CFH12k more often on the telescope and working in queued service observing more, more opportunities were found (using discretionary or TOO time) to observe GRB's and make a significant contribution to their study. Though no observations were made since the end of 2001, you can visit the CFHT GRB page for more information...

Before, and since 1980, I used to be an astronomer at Observatoire de la Cote d'Azur where I have been  in charge of the Lunar Laser Ranging station, and worked on Time Transfer using laser light. 
Two projects I started and promoted with other colleagues (T2L2 and ACES) are on good tracks for flying sometime!...