Reed Hall Observatory

Besides all the activity in the planetarium lately (more pictures of which I’ll have soon), the campus observatory has been active as well. Thanks to our local technician, telescope expert, and astronomy enthusiast, Steve Bell, I am being (re)trained in its operation, and we’re working on getting some of the vibrational ‘bugs’ out of the system. Steve and I were able to open the telescope up to astronomy students last night and take some beautiful images.

Waxing crescent moonWaxing crescent moon

Orion NebulaOrion Nebula

Both of these images were taken with an ST8 CCD camera mounted on a 102 millimeter Astelle telescope. The top is an adjusted 0.01 second exposure, and the bottom image was compiled from four 5-minute exposures using various color filters. The observatory is mounted on the roof of Reed Hall of Science, right next door to the planetarium. I’ll post more images of the observatory itself and info about our set-up soon . . .