Leander McCormick Observatory 26-inch InstrumentationIn 1877 Leander J. McCormick donated a 26-inch telescope to the University, and an observatory which now bears his name was built to house it on Mount Jefferson. The primary intrument used for research was a photographic plate camera that was in regular use through the mid-1990's along with other devices stored at the observatory including an impressive array of astrometric instruments. In the last few years with most of the research being transfered to the Fan Mountain Observatory, efforts have been to transform the observatory into a modern teaching and outreach facility. New modern CCD instruments and a spectrograph have been added to the 26-inch, giving UVa students access to one of the largest teaching telescopes in the US.
|ST-1001E||Direct SBIG ST-1001E CCD Camera||B||Operational|
|ST-8||Direct SBIG ST-8/8E CCD Camera||C||Operational|
|10-C Spec||OptoMechanics Model 10-C Slit Spectrograph||D||Operational|
|Astrovid||Astrovid 2000 High-Speed Video Camera||E||Operational|
|Speckle||Crane-Built Speckle Interferometer||F||Operational|
A. Currently, the primary use for eyepieces
are for undergraduate telscope observing classes and for public
outreach events. There are curently three eyepieces available: a
20mm Nagler, a 35mm Panoptic, and a 50mm Plössl.
B. Optical imaging may be done using an
SBIG ST-1001E CCD Camera. The camera is a class 1 grade detector,
single-amplifier CCD that is theromelectrically cooled. There are
filter slots allowing for 2-inch square filters.
C. Optical imaging may be done using one
of two SBIG ST-8 CCD cameras The cameras are a single-amplifier
CCD that is theromelectrically cooled. There are filter slots
allowing for 2-inch square filters.
NOTE: One of these CCDs will be used in conjunction with the 10-C spectrograph, and therefore be unavailable for imaging.
D. The 26-inch has been equipped with
an Opto-Mechanics Model 10-C slit spectrograph with a Santa
Barbara Instruments ST-8 CCD as a detector. The spectrograph has
two slits and three gratings (240, 600, 1200 l/mm). There are
manually operated Ne and Hg comparison lamps built in to the
spectrograph. Both the 10-C and the ST-8 instruments were
designed for use with Meade Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes, but we
have adapted them for use with the Leander McCormick Observatory
E. The Astrovid 2000 CCD video camera's
intended purpose was as the detector for the speckle
interferometry system, but its light weight and simple controls
also make it ideal for establishing a quick and direct video feed
from the telescope. Note, however, that the video camera should
not be thought of as an integrating device since the maximum
exposure time is 1/60th of a second. The Astrovid is best applied
to the viewing of bright objects (the moon, planets, bright
stars) in real time, and the recording of high frequency
phenomena (like speckles and seeing motion).
FiltersThe Leander McCormick Observatory has a small collection of 2-inch filters for educational uses. We have a set of standard UBVRI broad band photometry filters. However, with the chromatic aberation present in the the 26-inch refractor only the B, V and R filters find limited use. The default filter used is the V filter, primarily for single-band photometry of variable stars.
For more information, see the Leander McCormick Observatory Filters Webpage