Telescopes and Facilities
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Large Telescopes
Perhaps the most unique aspect of Astronomy Camp is the availability of large research telescopes under dark Arizona skies. You can learn more about each of the telescopes we use by selecting one of the following links.

At the Mt. Lemmon and Bigelow sites (9,157 and 8,235 feet elevation):
  • A 12-inch (0.3 meter) Meade LX-200 reflector.
  • The 24- and 32-inch telescopes of the SkyCenter.
  • A 60-inch and the 61-inch Kuiper telescope.
  • A 60-inch telescope of the University of Minnesota, enabling digital imaging at infrared wavelengths with a 2MASS IR camera.
At the Kitt Peak site (6,875 feet elevation): At the Mt. Graham site (10,500 feet elevation), Advanced Teen campers will use:
Direct Imaging
Astronomy Camp also has a large array of imaging instruments that can be installed on the telescopes above. This gives Campers unmatched capabilities and flexibility!
  • An Santa Barbara Instrument Group STX-16803 (4096x4096 pixels) CCD camera on the 24- and 32-inch telescopes as well as an STL-1001E (512x512 pixels).
  • An ST-9XE (512x512 pixel) CCD camera can be used for both imaging and for spectroscopy.
  • An ST-7XE (765x510 pixels) CCD camera at the 12-inch LX-200 telescope is equipped with a ten-position filter wheel and can be used with an f/3.3 focal reducer to provide a field-of-view of 20 arcminutes. This camera also provides a spectroscopic capability with the SBIG spectrometer. It can also be used with an AO-7 adaptive optics system. Details on all the above cameras can be found on the SBIG web site by selecting "Products."
  • 35 mm camera mounts and digital SLR cameras for astrophotography on all telescopes
  • Photon-counting aperture OPTEC SSP-3 photometer, for all telescopes
  • Several 1.25" and 2" Televue eyepieces (including a 55mm Ploessl, 41mm & 35mm Panoptic), filters (nebular, solar, lunar) for all telescopes.
  • Hand-held cameras for exploring the environment in both the ultraviolet (UV) and infrared (IR).
The following equipment is used for astrophotography: The following instruments are available for some of the Advanced Camps:
  • Infrared imaging with a 2MASS IR camera on the 60-inch telescope of the University of Minnesota.
  • A world-class 4096x4096 pixel CCD for imaging at the 61" Kuiper telescope
  • A state of the art 4096x4096 pixel thinned-CCD prime focus camera at the 60" telescope that covers a one-degree field of view (4 full moons).
  • PISCES: A 1024x1024 pixel wide-field near-infrared (1.0-2.5 microns) camera, still used for active research, can be used at the 90" telescope for Advanced Camps.
Solar Observing
Astronomy Camp also features an afternoon of solar imaging with a wide variety of gadgets for safely viewing the Sun's photosphere, chromosphere, sunspots, prominences, and flares.
  • A Day Star hydrogen-alpha filter for observing prominences, flares, granulation, and general activity on the Sun. Its bandwidth is 0.6 Angstroms. It can be used on the 12-inch LX-200 telescope or separately on an 8-inch Celestron telescope.
  • A Coronado Instruments Ca K filter for observing solar magnetic activity.
  • A Sun Gun for directly imaging the Sun in broad-band visible light.
  • A classic Questar 3.5-inch telescope for solar imaging.
  • Two models of SunSpotter telescopes.
  • BinoMite binoculars from Coronado.
  • Two Astroscan telescopes for viewing the photosphere by eyepiece projection.
  • Spectroscopes for examining spectral lines (absorption and emission) in laboratory light sources and the Fraunhofer absorption lines in the Sun's spectrum.
  • Pinhole cameras using the dark interiors of our telescope domes.
  • Eclipse glasses for direct viewing of sunspots.
The "other" half of observational astronomy is spectroscopy. Using the Camp spectrometers, campers can dissect the light coming from astronomical objects to determine their physical and chemical properties! Follow this link for lots more information about spectroscopy at Astronomy Camp!
  • An Optomechanics Research grating spectrometer, for all telescopes. It can be used for visual spectroscopy (by eye), for photographic spectroscopy (with a 35mm camera), or CCD spectroscopy (with the ST-9XE CCD).
  • An SBIG Model SGS spectrograph and ST-7XE CCD for use on the 12-inch LX-200 telescope.
  • Diffraction gratings ("grisms") from Rainbow Optics that thread into 1.25" eyepieces, mostly for visual use on our 4", 8", and 12" telescopes
Modern astronomy has come to rely heavily on computers; both for control of telescopes and instruments, and for image processing and scientific analysis (and for scientific collaboration!). Follow this link to learn more about computing capabilities at Astronomy Camp!
3-D Printing
Campers have access to an Ultimaker 3-D printer and associated software to develop .STL files of planetary landscapes, NASA models, etc. Campers can develop their own projects and also manufacture components needed in various engineering efforts during Camp.
Tucson Area Sights
Astronomy Camp provides a rare opportunity for a true behind-the-scenes look at some of the major astronomical facilities in Tucson, such as: