Joseph T. Buba Department of Physics and Technology
Dr. Richard Lloyd
The physic department’s recently upgraded Observatory features a new Celestron Edge HD, equipped with a 14-inch diameter optical tube, which can lock on and automatically track objects for long exposures, allowing observers to see faint, distant objects. With the help of a high-resolution spectrograph, the Celestron captures high-resolution light spectra from the objects, permitting identification of their chemical compositions and velocities through space. A charge-coupled device (CCD) camera produces high-quality images of stars, planets, nebulae, galaxies, comets and more. It can also be controlled remotely from a distant site and uses GPS tracking to view any named stars and planets.
“The remotely controlled observatory provides a true scientific platform for physics students,” said Dr. Richard Lloyd, chair of the Physics and Technology Department. “With the CCD camera and high resolution spectrograph, students can explore the composition of stars, detect spectroscopic binaries and take high-quality images of solar system objects, galaxies and nebulae.
“The Physics Department now has a scientific tool so that faculty can engage in mainstream astronomical research,” Lloyd continued. “The Observatory also serves as an outreach platform for the community at large, hosting public viewings that are coordinated with Planetarium shows and other events.”
Several smaller telescopes allow additional viewing options from the outside Observatory decks.
Members of the public are welcome to participate in observatory activities. On clear nights call 814-732-2537 after sundown to verify if the observatory is open.