AAS 201st Meeting, January, 2003
Session 10. Telescopes and Observatories for Education and Outreach
Poster, Monday, January 6, 2003, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall AB

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[10.05] The Instruments of Dudley Observatory

M. C. Gino (Dudley Observatory)

Dudley Observatory, founded in 1852, is the nation's oldest independent organization dedicated to astronomical research and education. While Dudley no longer operates a physical observatory, it is home to a number of historically important scientific instruments and telescopes.

Dudley's first operating telescope, a Clark Comet-seeker, remains in Dudley's collection today. This 4-inch refractor provided the first discovery of a comet by a Dudley astronomer in 1857 and is one of only four telescopes of this size produced by Alvan Clark. Also in Dudley's collection is the Olcott Meridian Circle which was the primary working telescope at the observatory for over 75 years. This telescope, made by Pistor & Martins and which operated both at the Dudley Observatory in Albany, NY and the San Luis Observatory in Argentina, was used to conduct all of the observations for the Preliminary General Catalog of 6788 Stars (1908) and the General Catalog of 33,343 Stars (1937).

The gem of Dudley's collection is the Pruyn Equatorial Telescope, built by the Warner and Swasey Company and equipped with a 12-inch lens made by John Brashear. It was installed in 1893 to conduct both research observations and public observing sessions. After remaining in storage for many decades, this historic telescope will soon resume its role after being refurbished and installed at the Arunah Hill Natural Science Center in Cummington, MA.

While Dudley retains its interest in astronomical instruments it has also moved into the areas of space studies and astronomical education. The key projects in the areas of instrumentation and astronomical outreach, which include the instruments above as well as the Rising Star Internship and Space Campership educational programs, will be detailed in the remainder of this paper.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34, #4
© 2002. The American Astronomical Soceity.