Iridium flare over Kitt Peak


Telescopes I've Used (and what I've done with them)

I admit it - I'm a telescope junkie. Backyard, mountaintop, optical, infrared, orbiting, any flavor. I do have the good fortune to be in a profession that doesn't consider this too much of an aberration. To show what kinds of projects can be done with various instruments (at least the kinds I've thought of), here's a gallery of observatories and telescopes I've used with some sample data and results. Since astrophysics now has (and needs) access to much of the electromagnetic spectrum, there are optical, infrared, radio, ultraviolet, and X-ray facilities to be found. For each picture, a click will get you the full-sized version. There is a mix of pictures of and data through each telescope. Where one exists, I've included links to the "official" WWW sites for these instruments; some USGS overhead images are included here. Some images are still to be added.

About the picture above: this 30-second exposure taken on 20 December 1999 shows a brilliant flare (visual magnitude about -6) from the Iridium 62 satellite seen over Kitt Peak, as viewed from MDM Observatory. Lyra is rising in the background with Vega at left. More information on Iridium flares (and other satellite viewing opportunities) may be found at the Heavens-Above site, especially now that the future of the Iridium communications constellation is in less doubt than before.

  • Nashville - my back yard, Dyer Observatory
  • Lick Observatory - Crossley, Nickel 1m, Shane 3m, 0.5m astrographic telescopes
  • Mount Lemmon - 1.5m UCSD-UM telescope
  • Kitt Peak - 0.9m, 1.3m, 2.1m, 4m Mayall, WIYN telescopes
  • Lowell Observatory - 42" telescope
  • La Palma - JKT, INT, WHT, NOT
  • Bol'shoi Teleskop Azimutal'nyi, North Caucasus
  • Cerro Tololo - 1.5m, 4m Blanco telescopes
  • European Southern Observatory, La Silla - 2.2m, 3.6m telescopes
  • NASA Infrared Telescope Facility, Mauna Kea
  • MMT, Mt. Hopkins, Arizona
  • MDM Observatory - 2.4m Hiltner telescope
  • Palomar Mountain, California - 5-m Hale telescope, Schmidt telescope, 1.5m telescope
  • SARA Observatory, Kitt Peak and Cerro Tololo - 1m and 0.6m telescopes
  • ARC 3.5m telescope, Apache Point Observatory, New Mexico
  • Gemini Observatory, Mauna Kea and Cerro Pachon
  • UA's 16-inch reflector and its predecessor, the 10-inch refractor, in Tuscaloosa
  • NRAO: Very Large Array, 43m telescope
  • James Clerk Maxwell Telescope, Mauna Kea
  • Low Earth orbit - Hubble Space Telescope, ROSAT, IRAS, STS-95 Starlite, FUSE, GALEX, Swift, Suzaku
  • High Earth orbit - ISO, Chandra, XMM-Newton
  • Geosynchronous orbit - IUE
  • Solar escape orbit - Voyager 2

    In addition, I've got "tourist" pictures of some other instruments that I haven't used for research, either because I haven't got an original use for them or their operators have too much sense to let me on. Some are hidden with their neighbors in the list above, and more at additional sites are:

  • Appalachian State University - student observatory, and 0.8m and 0.45m telescopes at dark-sky site
  • Berlin: the Archenbold Observatory at Treptow Park
  • Bonn: Argelander's survey telescope
  • Butler University, Indianapolis - Holcomb Observatory, 1-meter telescope
  • Byurakan: 1m Schmidt and 2.6m telescopes
  • Cincinnati Observatory - main dome, north dome, 30-cm refractor from 1845 (also with Venus and Jupiter), 40-cm Clark refractor
  • Dover Heights, Australia - Seacliff interferometer (reconstructed on original base, visited 2013)
  • Dwingeloo 25m radio telescope
  • East Tennessee State University - observatory, 14" telescope and polarimeter
  • Effelsberg 100m radio telescope
  • Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Florida - 0.8m Ortega telescope
  • Greenwich, Royal Observatory - 70-cm refractor and its onion dome.
  • Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles - 30-cm Zeiss refractor, astronomers' monument
  • Goettingen - Sternwarte
  • Hat Creek Radio Observatory, University of California
  • Jodrell Bank
  • Kapteyn Sterrenwacht Werkgroep, Roden, the Netherlands
  • Kingsport, Tennessee - Bays Mountain Observatory, 8" refractor
  • Kirkwood Observatory, Indiana University, Bloomington
  • Kuiper Airborne Observatory
  • Las Campanas: a distant view
  • Leander McCormick Observatory
  • Leiden: the old Sterrewacht
  • Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge - Landolt Observatory, 11-inch Clark refractor
  • Lowrey Observatory, Fort Davis, Texas - Barbarella, the 1.2m Dobsonian
  • Mauna Kea: Keck, UKIRT, UH, Subaru,CFHT
  • McDonald Observatory - 107" including bullet holes, Hobby-Eberly Telescope
  • Mississipi State University, Starkville, Mississipi - Howell Observatory, C-14 telescope
  • Mt. Bigelow - LPL 1.54-meter telescope
  • Mt. Hopkins: APTs, 60", Cerenkov high-energy array
  • Mt. Wilson: 60", and 100" Hooker telescopes, solar tower
  • NRAO: Green Bank, Kitt Peak, VLBA
  • Owens Valley Radio Observatory - 40-meter telescope
  • Oxford University: Original Radcliffe Observatory building, associated former observatory dome
  • Observatorio Astronomico Nacional, Tonantzintla, Mexico
  • Rainwater Observatory, French Camp, Mississippi - 8-inch refractor in dome, 0.65m Sangre telescope and dome
  • Sonnenborgh Sterrenwacht, Utrecht, the Netherlands
  • RATAN-600 radio telescope, North Caucasus
  • Sydney Observatory - 29-cm Schroeder refractor, contemporary 40-cm reflector
  • University of Cambridge Observatories: 30-cm Northumberland telescope and dome by night, and 0.9m dome by night
  • University of Havana observatory
  • University of Mississippi, Kennon Observatory - 38-cm double refractor and its former home in the Barnard Observatory
  • University of Montevallo, James Wylie Shepherd Observatory - 0.5m PlaneWave telescope casting a giant shadow
  • US Naval Observatory: Flagstaff and Washington
  • Valdosta State University, Georgia - Observatory, DFM 0.4m telescope
  • von Braun Astronomical society, Huntsville, Alabama - Observatory and planetarium building, Convertible-design Celestron 16-inch telescope, 0.5m telescope in dome
  • Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope
  • Wyoming Infrared Observatory
  • Yerkes 40" refractor

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