As part of the Mathematics and Physics Refurbishment, we have built, commissioned and operate a small observatory on the roof of the Physics Building for the use of undergraduate astrophysics teaching. Initially this is being used for Level 4 MSci Projects, plus general viewing by students upon invitation.
The observatory houses a 14-inch (0.35m) Meade ACF LX850 on a fixed Altair Astro pier. The telescope can be used visually or with a camera. We have an ATIK One 6.0 CCD camera, and ZWO ASI1600MC-C and ZWO ASI120MM CMOS cameras. The dome is a Pulsar Observatories 2.7m full height dome. During the night all observations can be carried out at an observing desk within ARC. Software control is via The Sky X Pro for the mount/dome and Maxim DL for image/data acquisition.
In addition, we have two portable Meade LS-6 ACF telescopes for use with Level 3 MSc Projects plus public events.
|Telescope in Dome after first installation, September 2017.|
|Dome at night on 5 October 2017. Lights in the background are from Windsor Park Stadium where Northern Ireland have just scored a memorable goal against Germany.|
|Observing Desk Screens, showing daytime imaging of Venus.|
|First light on 21 September 2017 - Globular Cluster M15.|
|Crab Nebula on 11 February 2018. A bit over-processed but we're still learning.|
|Whirlpool Galaxy M51 on 19 March 2018.|
|Supernova SN2018zd in NGC2146 on 30 April 2018 (V~14.5).|
|The Ring Nebula on 28 May 2018. The central exposed white dwarf has V=15.2.|
|Globular Cluster M13 on 28 May 2018.|
|Venus in the daytime on 7 June 2018, diameter 13 arcsec. UV filter 320-380nm.|
|Venus in the daytime on 21 June 2018, diameter 15 arcsec. 7nm H-alpha filter.|
|Near-Earth Object (65733) 1993 PC imaged on 15 October 2018 by final year students Grace Foster and Zuri Gray. Combining 10x60 second exposures in the luminosity filter allows detection of g=18.5 stars.|
|The Moon imaged on 17 January 2019 - mucking about through cloud. Mare Imbrium, the Alpine Valley and various craters including Plato, Copernicus, Kepler|
|Spiral Galaxy M106 imaged on 19 April 2019 while testing an Andor Marana Camera for the company|
|Centre of the Andromeda Galaxy imaged 19 November 2019 using the new Optec 0.62x Lepus focal reducer|