Instrumentation


The main telescope is a 24" DFM Ritchey-Crietien Cassegrain telescope figured at f/8. Currently we are using two separate CCD detectors for data collection on the main telescope. Our primary instrument for photometry is an Apogee AP47 which gives us a 9.4 X 9.4 arc-minute field of view. This detector coupled with light pollution in Atlanta, limits our photometric magnitude to about 14(V)

Our spectrograph is an SBIG Model SGS coupled with a ST-10XME and has a magnitude limit of 7 here in the city.

Peripheral instrumentation consist of a Celestron C-8 atf/10 and a Meade 152mm APO refractor at f/9. Since light gathering power is extremely limited with these smaller aperatures, both instruments are used mainly for public events.



Radio Telescope


Our radio telescope [webcam] is an old 25 foot (7.6 meter) satellite dish that was left over from cold war studies. It's primary use (when completed) will be teaching radio astronomy at the undergraduate level. The resolution at 1420 MHz (neutral hydrogen) is about 1.6 degrees, good enough for undergraduates to map the galaxy, but not enough for serious research. Eventually we would like to see this telescope fully controllable via the internet.

We were able to obtain first light on July 19th, 2006, 0106 hrs, using a receiver borrowed from our friends at Fernbank Science Center. First light was accomplished by scanning accross the galactic center. Click here to see the PDF (250kb).

On 12/12/07 we were able to put together a radio image of the sun with the galactic center. Click here to see the jpg.