Observatory

Observatory


The University of St. Thomas Physics Department Observatory exists to facilitate an understanding of and appreciation for the process of modern scientific investigation and how critical thinking uncovers nature’s mysteries.  Observatory programs actively engage participants in the process of discovery  and include UST science and non-science students, education majors, primary and secondary teachers, as well as interested members of the community.

Articles about the UST Observatory

Under the Milky Way

January 21, 2014

Astronomy is one of those topics that naturally generates enthusiasm. Contemplating the sheer scale of the universe and our place in it is a truly humbling and awe-inspiring experience. The teacher in me loves to use that moment when a student is rapt, that moment when they are looking into space saying, "Wow! What is that thing?"

Skylimit

The Sky is Not the Limit

January 21, 2014

Astronomy is one of those topics that naturally generates enthusiasm. Contemplating the sheer scale of the universe and our place in it is a truly humbling and awe-inspiring experience. The teacher in me [Gerry] loves to use that moment when a student or a visitor is rapt, that moment when they are looking into space saying, "Wow! What is that thing?" I tell them not only what the object is but how we, mankind, tiny creatures stuck to a speck, came to understand the nature of space.

UST Physics Dept Observatory Technical Specifications

 

Telescope
Type PlaneWave CDK 17
Aperture 17 inch (432mm)
Focal Length 115.71 inches (2939 mm)
Focal Ratio F/6.8
Optical Performance 6.5 micron rms spot at 21mm off central axis

 

Camera
Type SBIG STL-11000M
Filter Wheel SBIG FW8-STL 8 position
Filters UBVRI Photometry filters
LRGB Color balanced imaging filters
H-alpha, O III, S II narrow band
Array Size 4008x2672 pixels
36x24.7 mm
Pixel Size 9x9 micron
Plate Scale (On the CDK 17) 0.63 arcseconds/pixel
Field of View 0.70x0.47 degrees

 

Other Information
Magnitude Limit 17.4 (SNR=3 in 1 minute exposure)
Typical Seeing 2.0 to 3.0 arcseconds