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Astronomical Observatory: Equipment

Observatory equipment

This page lists the detailed specifications of hardware and software used in the Calvin Observatory (on campus in Michigan) and the Calvin-Rehoboth Observatory (near Gallup, New Mexico). The two observatories are designed to be very similar in equipment. The local site is used for hands-on training, equipment testing, and nighttime viewing by students and visitors. The remote site is operated robotically via the internet and gathers high-quality data every clear night for class projects and research.

Both sites:

Telescope: Optical Guidance Systems RC16-75F (16 inch aperture Ritchey-Chretien) with carbon fiber tube
Guidescope: Takahashi refractor FS-78, 3" diameter
Guide camera: ST-I
Slide Mirror: Van Slyke Engineering Versaport Slider
Dome automation:
Meridian controls solar powered, computer controlled dome motors
Power automation: X10
Telescope control software: Software Bisque TheSkyX
Camera control and image processing software: Diffraction Limited Maxim DL
Astrometry software: PinPoint (from DC-3)
User interface: ACP ASCOM DC-3 Dreams (Astronomy software)
Remote operation: RealVNC
Rack to support camera: custom built

Calvin-Rehoboth Telescope near Gallup, NM (photos)

Dome: Ash Manufacturing Company 10'6" diameter REB dome
Camera: Santa Barbara Instrument Group ST-10XE
Filter Wheel: Two Optec IFW wheels with 2" filters (UBVRI, H-alpha and red continuum)
Focal Reducer: Optec WideField 0.62X Telecompressor
Web cam:
TRENDnet TV-IP612P (installed May 2011)

Calvin Observatory in Grand Rapids, MI

Dome: Astro-Tec 15' diameter
Video Camera: Astrovid StellaCam3
Camera: Santa Barbara Instrument Group ST-8XE
Filter Wheel: Santa Barbara Instrument Group CFW-8 with 1.25" filters (UBVRI, H-alpha and red continuum, O III and green continuum)
Focal Reducer: Optical Guidance Systems 0.63x
Spectroscope: Santa Barbara Instrument Group Self-Guided Spectrograph, mounted with SBIG ST-7E camera

Also used in the Calvin Observatory:
Two Meade LX-90 telescopes 8" f/10 x2
Binoculars: A Celestron 7x50 and an Orion 10x70.


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