The Observatory houses a computer-operated DFM reflecting telescope with a half-meter (20-inch) primary mirror. The telescope is equipped with a First Magnitude CCD camera, a highly-sensitive electronic camera for photographing and measuring the brightness and color of stars and other astronomical objects. The telescope can also be used for visual observing or with a 35-mm camera for film photography. The Observatory is located on the roof of the Physical Sciences Laboratory Building.
The 0.5-meter telescope is used for instruction in mostastronomy courses. Introductory students look through the telescope as part of stargazing sessions and view images taken with the telescope in classes in the planetarium. Advanced students in Observational Astronomy or independent study courses gain hands-on experience and learn modern observing and image processing techniques. Students and faculty also use the telescope for observational research projects.
The Observatory maintains a sky deck and several portable telescopes used along with the 0.5-meter telescope during stargazing sessions for introductory astronomy students and the general public.
The Observatory is open to the public for stargazing and viewing through the 0.5-meter telescope during the academic year following the weekend planetarium shows, weather permitting. For more information and a current schedule, visit the Planetarium home page.
For further information about the observatory facilities, please contact the Observatory Director, Dr. Andrew Layden.