Date: December 16, 2003

Russ Mellon, President
Equinox Interscience, Inc.

Equinox to build telescopes for stellar object sky survey

Wheatridge, Colorado. Equinox Interscience, Inc. (EI) announced today the receipt of a contract award to build dual synoptic telescopes for the Very Young Stellar Object Survey (VYSOS) project.

The VYSOS project will utilize two identical 16 inch primary, autonomously operated telescope systems, one to be located in the northern hemisphere at the Haleakala Observatory in Hawaii, and the other one in the southern hemisphere at eh Cerro Tololo Interamerican Observatory in Chile. These two telescopes will be devoted to an ambitious observational program dedicated to systematically monitoring the nearest star forming regions along the entire plane of our home galaxy.

The VYSOS observing programs and scientific goals are closely coordinated through tight collaboration between the Institute for Astronomy (IFA) at the University of Hawaii and the Institut fur Astronomie at the Ruhr-Universitat Bochum in Germany. The two VYSOS telescopes are funded and operated separately, the northern telescope by the IFA, and the southern telescope by the Institut fur Astronomie.

The primary goal for the VYSOS program is to monitor young stars and their evolution. The VYSOS observational program recognizes young stars as the dynamic bodies they are, providing a synoptic view of early stellar evolution, and maintaining vigilance in order to identify whenever rare and potentially important events occur in star forming regions. VYSOS will undertake a variety of scientific projects looking into fundamental properties and characteristics related to stellar evolution. VYSOS will also have a major impact on other science, in fields as varied as asteroids and novae.

The VYSOS telescope systems are scheduled for initial development at the Equinox Pinecliffe Facility and integration and testing at the EI Telescope Integration Facility in Wheatridge, Colorado, mid-year 2004. The VYSOS North will be delivered first, with the VYSOS South shortly thereafter. The coordinated operation of both VYSOS telescopes is expected by year end, 2004.