AAS Meeting #193 - Austin, Texas, January 1999
Session 34. Teaching Astronomy in Colleges and Universities
Display, Thursday, January 7, 1999, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibits Hall 1

[Previous] | [Session 34] | [Next]

[34.03] High Altitude Observing: Some Lessons Learned

R. E. Stencel (Univ. Denver Observatories)

After achieving first light in late summer 1997, Denver University astronomers, Students and volunteers enjoyed our first summer of full-up operations in 1998, at the new Meyer-Womble Observatory -- located near the summit of 14,268 ft Mt.Evans, 35 miles west of Denver. The facility features twin 0.72 meter f/21 telescopes, excellent seeing and outstanding infrared transparency (1994 BAAS 26:895 & 26:1321; 1998 BAAS 29:1272; www.du.edu/~rstencel/MtEvans).

Experiences gained during a week-long intensive undergraduate course in CCD astr onomy held at the observatory will be shared. We also report here on progress in the areas of (1) solar photovoltaic power for this off-grid location; (2) wireless modem microwave communication for email and internet connections miles away from hard phonelines, and prospects for eventual remote operations using similar links; (3) successful application of new intensified eyepiece technology from Collins Electro-Optics (www.ceoptics.com) to achieve 17th magnitude at video frame rates (1/60th sec), and (4) utilization of T-points software to model polar alignment, gearing and other flexure parameters to achieve improved pointing (www.bisque.com). These improvements pave the way for planned use of new infrared array cameras at this location during future observing seasons. I am grateful to the estate of William Herschel Womble for support to Denver University for these endeavors. A CDROM of 1998 observing results and ancillary data is available. Persons with serious student projects and/or focal plane instruments to test at our site are encouraged to contact me directly (rstencel@du.edu).

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to www.du.edu/~rstencel/MtEvans. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: rstencel@du.edu

[Previous] | [Session 34] | [Next]