|The mission of the Oakley Observatory at Rose-Hulman is
two-fold. The first mission is to provide our students with the
opportunity to enrich their education through a hands-on experience
in astronomy. Our second mission is to serve as an astronomical
resource for the local community.
The Oakley Observatory at Rose-Hulman will serve students enrolled
in our astronomy and directed research courses. The observatory
also serves the Rose-Hulman Astronomical Society which consists of
students from all majors who are interested in astronomy. And
finally, the observatory serves the faculty and staff of
Rose-Hulman and residents of Wabash valley who have an interest in
astronomy. We regularly host star parties for the local community
as well as host classes from local schools.
|The Oakley Observatory houses
eight permanently mounted telescopes. Each pier has parallel,
serial, and Internet connections along with electrical outlets. The
wiring runs under the floor to a computer cabinet on the north end
of the building. The cabinet is heated and air conditioned. The
control computers are all connected to the internet.
Our #1 telescope is the 6-inch Clark refractor. Alvan Clark
(1804-87) and his two sons, Alvan Graham and George Bassett were
world famous for making the best telescopes as well as the largest
telescopes of the time. Hans Eppinger of Hughes Optical Products,
Inc. donated the optical tube assembly of the Clark refractor to
Rose-Hulman in 1990. Because there was no mount for the telescope,
it was mounted on a wall in Moench Hall as a decoration. Later, the
telescope was completely refurbished and placed on a Meade LX750
Mount in the old observatory dome.
The #2 telescope is an 8-inch Fecker telescope which was donated
to Rose Polytechnic in 1961 by Mr. Crawford Failey, president of
Wabash Reality, Inc. The telescope was the first telescope in the
original observatory dome. It is now on a Paramount ME mount. Like
the Clark, this telescope is used for visual observing.
The remaining six telescopes are all Celestron
Schmidt-Cassegrain optical systems. The Schmidt-Cassegrain
Telescope is named for Bernhard Schmidt, a German astronomer, and
Sieur Cassegrain, a French sculptor. Light enters through a
collecting plate. The correcting plate is a thin, aspheric
correction lens. The corrected light passes through the optical
tube to a spherical primary mirror and then back up to the tube to
a convex secondary mirror. The light is returned back down the
scope through a hole in the primary mirror.
The #3 telescope is a 14-inch Celestron on a Paramount ME. It is
set up with a CCD camera from Santa Barbara Instrument Group
(STL-1001E). All recently updated, these cameras have a built-in
filter wheel for taking color images. This telescope is used for
imaging deep sky objects and for research.
Telescope #4 is also a 14-inch Celestron on a Paramount ME, but
this telescope is equipped with an Apogee AP8 camera.
Telescope #8 is identical to telescope#3.
The next telescope is an 11-inch Celestron mounted on a
Paramount ME mount. It is used primarily for visual observing. This
telescope was purchased by the Student Government Association for
the Rose-Hulman Astronomical Society. It was the first major
telescope purchase by observatory and the first "modern" telescope.
Attached to this telescope, but not visible in this view is a small
hydrogen alpha telescope designed for viewing solar flares.
Telescope #6 is another 14-inch Celestron. This telescope was
donated by Larry Dultz of Terre Haute. The Celestron optical tube
assembly is mounted on a Paramount ME mount. This telescope is
equipped with an Apogee AP7 camera and is used for deep sky imaging
and observing asteroids.
Telescope #7 is a 20-inch Ritchey Cretien telescope from RC
Optical. This is our newest telescope. It is used primarily for
deep sky imaging with an STL-1001E CCD camera. This telescope is
identical to the telescope in the Oakley Southern Sky Observatory
and is helpful for debugging problems with the telescope in
|12-inch Meade LX200
|Oakley observatory has two 12-inch Meade LX 200 telescopes.
These telescopes were funded by an NSF grant from the
Instrumentation and Laboratory Improvement program. We have Santa
Barbara Instrument Group ST-6 cameras and filter wheels for these
telescopes. The LX 200s were originally our #3 and #4 telescopes,
but have been replaced by the Celestron telescopes described
|The Oakley Observatory also has a 10-inch Newtonian telescope
on a Dobsonian mount. This portable telescope is used for visual
observing. We frequently take it to elementary schools or to local
parks for star parties. The telescope has a solar filter so it can
also be used during the day to view sunspots.
History of Oakley Observatory
Observatory - (812) 877-8127
Lynn Reeder Lab - (812) 872-6078
For more information contact:
CM 171 Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
5500 Wabash Avenue
Terre Haute, IN 47803-3999 USA