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Gerald Hughes Phipps Observatory

Phipps Construction

The Phipps Observatory was built during the construction of Barnes Science Center, which was dedicated in 1988. It houses a DFM Engineering 16-inch Cassegrain telescope on a computerized equatorial fork mount.

The telescope itself sits on a solid concrete pillar, which travels all the way through all floors of Barnes Science center and is embedded in the bedrock. This keeps the telescope from jittering from the movement of the building while observations are being conducted. Instructions for how to operate the telescope can be found on the left menu.

Attached to the telescope is a SBIG STS-1001E CCD Camera for taking images. Instructions for how to operate the CCD camera can be found on the left menu.

If you are interested in learning how to use the Observatory, you can become certified through the Physics Department. The procedure involves several supervised sessions operating the telescope and one final test session, where you are expected to start up and shut down the telescope without any assistance. Once you become certified, you can check out the observatory keys and use the facility without any faculty supervision. Check out the People section of this website to find students and faculty who are currently certified to use the observatory.