Telescope deck phone: (717) 291-3880
The observing deck on the 4th floor of Hackman Laboratories contains low vibration piers which hold six 8-inch Meade LX-200 telescopes. Cables in conduit under the floor connect the telescopes with six laboratory PCs. The telescopes can be operated in three modes: students can begin learning about telescopes by moving and pointing the telescopes manually; the telescopes can also be controlled using the computer built into the telescope base with commands entered through the hand paddle; finally, the telescopes can be controlled from the computers inside the lab. The astronomical imaging laboratory, located next to the observing deck, allows students taking astronomy courses to work with computer controlled telescopes and CCD cameras to record and process images of celestial objects.
The imaging laboratory at F&M was used by classes beginning with the 1997-98 school year. A new spectrograph has been purchased and is currently being installed and tested. It will permit students in upper level courses to obtain spectra of planets and bright stars and to analyze the spectra. We are continuing to develop new ways for astronomy students to use the laboratory and experience digital imaging in astronomy.
Click here for some astronomical photos taken by Bruce Pipes, F&M Provost Emeritus and friend of the astronomy program.
Below are some shots of the observing deck with the telescopes in use.