About the Telescopes

24-Inch Telescope: The UCI Observatory’s main computer-controlled F/8 telescope has a 24-inch primary mirror and 8.5-inch secondary mirror. We operate the telescope in person or remotely over the ethernet using a LINUX-based control program called UCIROB written by Dr. Tony Shoup. An instrument selector allows us rapidly switch the light to a variety of instruments -- an eyepiece, a CCD imaging camera, or a spectrograph. Planets, star clusters, planetary nebulae and galaxies can be viewed by visitors through eyepieces that have different magnifications.

CCD Imaging Cameras: We take scientific images with the 24-inch telescope using our SBIG ST-9XE CCD camera, which has a field-of-view of 7' x 7'. Under certain conditions, we can use our SBIG Adaptive Optics Module with this CCD to remove telescope tracking errors and improve image quality. In addition, our 24-inch telescope uses an SBIG ST-6 CCD behind a 5-inch telescope as a finder scope, which gives us a larger, 25′ x 19′, field-of-view useful for centering on an object of interest.

Spectrograph: Our 24-inch telescope sports a SBIG Self-Guiding Spectrograph, too. It uses images of the light reflected off the backside of the spectrograph slit to automatically keep the star centered on the slit. The detector behind our spectrograph is an SBIG ST-8E CCD. This combination allows us to obtain spectra at high resolution with a dispersion of 1.1 Angstrom/pixel and a wavelength coverage of 1640 Angstrom or at low resolution with a dispersion of 4.3 Angstrom/pixel and a wavelength coverage of 6550 Angstrom.

Portable Telescopes: We also have an array of portable telescopes that are used in our Astronomy Outreach Program and at public Visitor Nights. They are a mix of Meade and Celestron GPS, computer-controlled, 8- to 12-inch telescopes. Two of our portable telescopes are equiped with solar filters in order to allow us to see sunspots and solar flares on the face of the Sun.

Visitor Night at the Observatory
Orion Nebula
Comet 17P/Holmes
The planet Saturn and its rings
UCI Observatory 24″ Telescope
Full Moon
M13 Star Cluster
Ring Nebulae, a planetary nebula