AAS 206th Meeting, 29 May - 2 June 2005
Session 5 Public Observatories and Informal Astronomy
Poster, Monday, 9:20am-6:30pm, Tuesday, 10:00am-7:00pm, May 30, 2005, Ballroom A

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[5.06] Community Access at Ritter Observatory: Service Observing and Student Training

G.B. Thompson, D.W. Kittell, N.D. Morrison, K.S. Bjorkman (U. Toledo)

Ritter Observatory has begun a program of community access to its 1-meter telescope. The instrumentation consists of a low- (R = 3,000-6,000) and a high- (R = 26,000) resolution (échelle) fiber-fed spectrograph, each in nightly use with its own CCD camera and data acquisition system. Limiting visual magnitudes are about 8 for the low-resolution spectrograph and 5 for the échelle, depending on atmospheric conditions and on desired signal-to-noise ratio.

Requests for service observations should be by an email message to N. D. Morrison (ndm@physics.utoledo.edu) or K. S. Bjorkman (karen@physics.utoledo.edu) and may be for single observations or long-term monitoring programs. Observations can usually be scheduled on as little as 24 hours' notice. Requests for observations coordinated with other observatories, either space- or ground-based, and for observations in support of student theses are particularly encouraged.

Training of undergraduate and beginning graduate students in spectroscopic observing and data analysis will begin in June 2005. During a visit of one to two weeks' duration, students will work with the telescope and spectrograph on clear nights and will be trained in analysis of Ritter data with IRAF on cloudy nights. Application procedures will be described in the poster and may be obtained from any of the poster authors.

In support of both the service observing and the training activities, a public archive of reduced data is being established.

With support from the NSF Program for Research and Education with Small Telescopes (PREST), Ritter Observatory has dedicated 25% of the time when the telescope is in use to community access.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://astro1.panet.utoledo.edu/~ndm/PREST.html. 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: gthomps@physics.utoledo.edu

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