Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

Largest Public-Only Telescope Now At UA SkyCenter
by Staff Writers
Tucson AZ (SPX) Oct 28, 2010

Adam Block/Mount Lemmon SkyCenter/University of Arizona

Spectacular close-up views of Jupiter's Great Red Spot, star clusters, nebulae and distant galaxies captivated the first Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter visitors to peer through a brand-new telescope, the largest of its kind in the state.

Weighing in at more than 5,000 pounds and standing 12 feet tall, the new 32-inch Schulman telescope is safe and easy to use for public programs and delivers digital images of exceptional quality. The telescope's more precise aiming mechanism and larger aperture of the compared to the existing 24-inch public viewing telescope will go far in maintaining the SkyCenter's preeminence in public outreach programs.

Under the guidance of Adam Block, the SkyCenter's primary presenter and astrophotographer, visitors have generated pictures that are published in books, websites such as NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day and magazines, including Sky and Telescope.

Visitors who participate in the SkyNights program and look through the telescope are rewarded with brighter looking stars and better contrast in deep space objects when compared to smaller telescopes.

"Shortly after aligning the telescope and turning on its control systems, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the telescope pointed to celestial objects with great precision - without further adjustment," Block said. "This speaks to the high quality of the mount, the most important part of the telescope, and allows me to show dramatic views of stars and planets during the day time even before sunset."

Eventually this telescope will work with both on-site and remote operators - dramatically increasing accessibility for the public and serious amateurs.

SkyCenter has remote feed capability via Internet and will continue to promote collaborative programs with other UAScience venues such as Biosphere 2 and Flandrau - giving a taste of mountaintop observing to those not on the summit and whetting their appetites for a visit to Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter, Tucson's highest destination.

Echoing the tremendously positive feedback that Block and his team at the SkyCenter receive from the participants in their programs, one visitor said: "It looked like rain, and we didn't even think we would see the stars, but later the sky did clear and the evening sky Block presented to us blew my mind. I kept sneaking back to the end of the line to get extra glimpses. I think my life has been changed because of the presentation."

The Joe and Dixie Schulman Foundation, along with a generous gift from Richard Caris, made possible the acquisition of the 32-inch Schulman Telescope.

"We are extremely grateful for the vision and generosity of our donors," said Anna Spitz, program manager with the Mt. Lemmon Sky Center. "They have continuously supported the SkyCenter's mission and the donation of this telescope makes possible the centerpiece program of the summit educational programs."

The Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter public programs now feature viewing with the new 32-inch Schulman telescope and many opportunities for special and collaborative events.

Along with established SkyNights, SkyTours and AstronomerNights programs, SkyCenter's public observing program will offer special programs, including the popular Our Place in the Universe and special viewings of the Geminids meteor shower on Dec. 13 and the winter solstice and total lunar eclipse on Dec. 21. SkyCenter is also highlighting NASA's Year of the Solar System by tying into many NASA themes and mission events.

The Schulman Telescope was installed in only five days in September by the UA Steward Observatory Mountain Operations, RC Optical Systems and Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter staff.

The Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter at the UA Steward Observatory field station on Mt. Lemmon is Tucson's highest destination and home of Arizona's largest dedicated public viewing telescope. Open year-round, programs nightly, weather permitting. Reservations are required.


Related Links
SkyCenter at Mount Lemmon
Space Telescope News and Technology at

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

South Africa's MeerKAT Radio Telescope in High Demand
Woodhill Estate, South Africa (SPX) Oct 28, 2010
Five years before South Africa's MeerKAT telescope becomes operational, more than 43,000 hours of observing time (adding up to about five years) have already been allocated to radio astronomers from Africa and around the world, who have applied for time to do research with this unique and world-leading instrument. Surveys of radio pulsars and hydrogen gas in the deep universe came out on t ... read more

Surviving Lunar Dangers

NASA Awards Contract To Team FREDNET Google Lunar X PRIZE Contender

Collision Spills New Moon Secrets

LRO Detects Surprising Gases In LCROSS Lunar Impact Plume

2013 Earliest Launch Date For China Mars Mission

A One-Way Trip To Mars Would Be Affordable

Curiosity Builds A New Mars Rover

Opportunity's Eastward View After Sol 2382 Drive

Soot From Space Tourism Rockets Could Spur Climate Change

Simulating Power Of Sun To Test Hardware For Space

Space tourism ticket prices could drop

US Space Policy In 2010

China says manned space station possible around 2020

China Kicks Off Manned Space Station Program

NASA chief says pleased with 'comprehensive' China visit

The International Future In Space

EU mulls opening ISS to more countries

Russian Space Dumpster Take Science Detour Before Pacific Reentry

International Space Station Water System Successfully Activated

Russia Sends New Space Freighter To Orbital Station

Ariane 5 Rolls Out For Dual Bird Launch

New Intelsat Satellite Delivered To Launch Base

Boeing Ships LightSquared's SkyTerra One Mobile ComSat To Launch Site

Hylas-1 Satellite Readied For Launch From European Spaceport

Planets Discovered Around Elderly Binary Star

Astronomers Find Weird, Warm Spot On An Exoplanet

New techniqe aiding planet searches

Planet Hunters No Longer Blinded By The Light

Minds control computers in study

Plant-Based Plastics Not Necessarily Greener Than Oil-Based Relatives

Two Dissimilar Materials Display Unexpected Magnetism

Converting Acid Rain Chemicals Into Useful Products

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement