QUB Teaching Observatory

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.
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.
NEO (65733) imaged on 15 October 2018 by final year students Grace Foster and Zuri Gray. Combining 10×60 second exposures in the luminosity filter allows detection of g=18.5 stars.
public/teaching_observatory/start.txt · Last modified: 2018/10/24 20:41 by Alan Fitzsimmons

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