The Concordia College Observatory is located at the east end of the Jake Christiansen Stadium. The location was chosen to be a compromise between light-polluted skies and convenient/safe accessibility for users. We have mostly satisfactory viewing to the east and south. Views of the brighter star clusters, moon, and planets are quite spectacular. Galaxies are disappointing.
Designed to accommodate numerous viewers at any given time, the observatory houses three 8" Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes, an 18" Newtonian telescope, and a 12.5" classical Cassegrain telescope. A recently acquired Celestron CG-11 Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope on a fabulously designed German equatorial mount awaits somewhat warmer weather for installation. We also have a photoelectric photometer with UBV filters. We are considering the addition of a CCD camera (which would render the galaxies exciting again), but are not yet sure how we can keep a computer appropriately climate-controlled when it's -40 degrees.
The observatory is mostly student operated. It is primarily for use by students taking Astronomy 105, or those doing independent study projects, but may be available to other interested people on request. We are usually on the lookout for good student telescope operators, so if you are a 'graduate' of Astronomy 105 or have previous experience with telescopes or star gazing in general, and would like to make a little money doing something that's relentlessly fun, type a note to Dr. Gealy at the email address below.
This photograph of the moon was made with one of the 8" Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes not pictured elsewhere on this page. At prime focus, these amount to 2000 mm f/10 telephotos. The exposure was 1/15 second at ASA 200. Photo by Kelly Fenton, October 25, 1990.
Gallery of CCD images obtained at Kitt Peak National Observatory.
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Department of Physics
Director of the Observatory
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