Technical Capabilities

Technical Capabilities

The telescope is a 24-inch, f/7.8 Ritchey-Chretien manufactured by RCOS in Flagstaff, Arizona. It is housed in an 18-foot Ash Dome.

We have a large-format (4k x 4k) Apogee U16M camera which yields a field of view of 26 arc minutes.  Our seeing is sometimes as good as 3 arc seconds.  We have Johnson/Cousins (U, B, V, Rc, Ic) and SDSS (u', g', r', i', z') filters, as well as H-alpha (on- and off-band) filters. Our site and facility are well-suited for exoplanet transit work, for which light-pollution and poor seeing are not significant impediments. We typically require less than 30 second exposures for 10th magnitude transit host stars, and can measure transits with precision of a few millimagnitudes.

We also have a Shelyak eShel fiber-fed echelle spectrograph (imaged with an SBIG-SB10 camera).  It is bench mounted in the control room next to the observatory, and can achieve spectral resolution of R ~ 10,000 over the entire optical range.

We usually employ autoguiding, using an Astrodon MegaMOAG off-axis autoguider mounted in front of the filter wheel. We also routinely use ACP control software to execute our nightly observing sequences.