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Astrophysics Research Centre

School of Mathematics and Physics

QUB Teaching Observatory

As part of the Mathematics and Physics Refurbishment, we have built, commissioned and operate a small observatory on the roof of the Physics Building for the use of undergraduate astrophysics teaching. Initially this is being used for Level 4 MSci Projects, plus general viewing by students upon invitation.

The observatory houses a 14-inch (0.35m) Meade ACF LX850 on a fixed Altair Astro pier. The telescope can be used visually or with a camera. We have an ATIK One 6.0 CCD camera, and ZWO ASI1600MC-C and ZWO ASI120MM CMOS cameras. The dome is a Pulsar Observatories 2.7m full height dome. During the night all observations can be carried out at an observing desk within ARC. Software control is via The Sky X Pro for the mount/dome and Maxim DL for image/data acquisition.

In addition, we have two portable Meade LS-6 ACF telescopes for use with Level 3 MSc Projects plus public events.

Telescope in Dome after first installation, September 2017.
Dome at night on 5 October 2017. Lights in the background are from Windsor Park Stadium where Northern Ireland have just scored a memorable goal against Germany.
Observing Desk Screens, showing daytime imaging of Venus.
First light on 21 September 2017 - Globular Cluster M15.
Crab Nebula on 11 February 2018. A bit over-processed but we're still learning.
Whirlpool Galaxy M51 on 19 March 2018.
Supernova SN2018zd in NGC2146 on 30 April 2018 (V~14.5).
The Ring Nebula on 28 May 2018. The central exposed white dwarf has V=15.2.
Globular Cluster M13 on 28 May 2018.
Venus in the daytime on 7 June 2018, diameter 13 arcsec. UV filter 320-380nm.
Venus in the daytime on 21 June 2018, diameter 15 arcsec. 7nm H-alpha filter.
Near-Earth Object (65733) 1993 PC imaged on 15 October 2018 by final year students Grace Foster and Zuri Gray. Combining 10x60 second exposures in the luminosity filter allows detection of g=18.5 stars.
The Moon imaged on 17 January 2019 - mucking about through cloud. Mare Imbrium, the Alpine Valley and various craters including Plato, Copernicus, Kepler
Spiral Galaxy M106 imaged on 19 April 2019 while testing an Andor Marana Camera for the company
Centre of the Andromeda Galaxy imaged 19 November 2019 using the new Optec 0.62x Lepus focal reducer
public/teaching_observatory/start.txt · Last modified: 2020/02/10 16:18 by Alan Fitzsimmons

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