The advanced astronomy course, Phys 304: Observational Astronomy, makes use of some advanced astronomical instruments to make observations of the skies. The instruments we have available include:


  • 6 Celestron C8-S Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes on CG-5 equatorial mounts used primarily at our dark sky site at Merrill Creek Reservoir
  • a Meade LX 90 8″Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope
  • a Celestron C14 Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope housed in a dome at Metzgar Fields
  • several older telescopes including a 3.5″ Questar

M8, the Lagoon Nebula, taken 9/17/2007 at Merrill Creek Reservoir by the Physics 304 class


    • an SBIG ST-8 autoguiding CCD camera with CFW-9 color filter wheel equipped with either LRGB color filters or UBVRI photometric filters
    • an SBIG self-guiding spectrograph
    • a computerized equatorial mount with GPS compatible with the autoguiding CCD

The visible solar spectrum as observed by the Physics 304 class 10/29/2007 by directing solar light to the SPEX-1250M spectrometer with a filter.