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A skyward-pointing high-powered telescope at the Oakley Observatory.

Observatory Equipment

The Oakley Observatory houses eight permanently mounted telescopes. Each pier has parallel, serial and internet connections along with electrical outlets. The piers are numbered for easy identification of the telescopes and control computers, and to assign student groups.

Our Equipment

We have eight permanently mounted telescopes, each with astronomical cameras and internet connections.

• Our No. 1 telescope is the 6-inch Clark refractor. Hans Eppinger of Hughes Optical Products, Inc. donated the optical tube assembly of the Clark refractor to Rose-Hulman in 1990. The Clark is used mainly for visual observing. However, a STL-6303E CCD camera is available for imaging. We also have solar filter for viewing sunspots.

• The No. 2 telescope is a Takahashi 6-inch refractor. It has a much shorter focal length and wider field of view than the Clark. It is mainly used for visual observing.


Takahashi Refractor telescope mounted in the Oakley Observatory.

• Four of the remaining six telescopes are 14-inch Celestron Schmidt-Cassegrain optical systems on Paramount ME mounts. Telescopes No. 3 and 4 include a CCD camera with a built-in filter wheel for taking color images. These telescopes are used for imaging deep sky objects and for research. Telescopes No. 5 and 6 are used primarily for visual observing. We do have an SBIG STL-4020M camera available for use on either of these telescopes. Telescope No. 6 was donated by Larry Dultz of Terre Haute.


14-inch Celestron Schmidt-Cassegrain with CCD camera.

• Telescope No. 7 is a 20-inch Ritchey Chretien telescope from RC Optical. 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 in Australia.

• The No. 8 telescope is a 17-inch modified Dall-Kirkham reflecting telescope made by Planewave Instruments and represents the very latest in telescope design. It offers better optical performance at a lower cost than the classic Ritchey Chretien design. This telescope is normally used with an STL-1001E CCD camera for deep sky imaging.

• We also have a mounted 10-inch Newtonian telescope. This portable telescope is used for visual observing. We frequently take it to elementary schools or to local parks for star parties. It has a solar filter so it can also be used during the day to view sunspots.


"For everyone, as I think, must see that astronomy compels the soul to look upwards and leads us from this world to another.

- Glaucon, the older brother of Plato

380 BCE

Oakley Extras!

Drawing of a telescope and a shooting star.

Check out our Oakley Observatory Clear Sky Chart!

For a current astronomer's forecast, follow the link below. This chart shows when it will be cloudy or clear for up to two days. This is important information if you're hoping to look through a telescope!

A directional compass showing North, East, South, and West.

Oakley Basics

  • IAU Observatory Code: 916
  • Latitude: 39° 29° 2° North
  • Longitude: 87° 18° 59° West
  • Elevation: 178 m
Drawing of the front view of a camera lens.

Oakley Webcam

We have a live web camera feed from inside the Oakley Observatory, which can be viewed by entering the login name of "public" and the password "Observatory" (case sensitive).