Fan Mountain Observatory 24-inch Rapid Response Robotic Telescope

RRRT Telescope at Fan Mountain Observatory
Norfolk State University has constructed a 24-inch robotically controlled telescope, the Rapid Response Robotic Telescope (RRRT), at the University of Virginia‘s Fan Mountain Observatory, located about 15 miles south of Charlottesville.

The RRRT will soon be a fully automated 24-inch f/8.0 Ritchey-Chretien telescope dedicated to the study of astronomical transient phenomena. Current projects include the photometry and polarimetry of gamma-ray burst optical afterglows, compact stars, near-earth objects (NEOs), blazars, and searches for supernovae, exoplanets, and tidal streams around nearby galaxies.

The telescope has a slew rate of 4.5 degrees/second to allow rapid response to GRB afterglows. It is currently equipped with an SBIG ST-1001E CCD, with a 24 arcminute (diagonal) field of view, yielding 1 arcsecond pixels. The dome is a 16-foot AstroHaven clamshell, and the telescope and mount are from Optical Guidance Systems (OGS).

Partners with Norfolk State University on the RRRT operation are the Department of Astronomy at the University of Virginia and the Back Bay Amateur Astronomers.