Mason’s New Telescope is the Largest On-Campus in the Region
This past weekend, Optical Guidance Systems helped George Mason University install a Ritchey-Chretien 32″ diameter telescope that will be the largest on-campus telescope in the region. A crane lifted the largest pieces of the telescope as high as nine stories over the building and into the observatory tower in Research I on the Fairfax Campus.
The telescope will be fully functional this fall, and will allow faculty and students in the Department of Physics and Astronomy to conduct research in planetary and atmospheric studies.
In the fall, the community will also be able to take advantage of this technology with night-time observing sessions twice a month, weather permitting. Professor Harold Geller will lead these community sessions, as well as conduct educational observing programs for local K-12 school children.
Educational and Outreach Uses of the Telescope:
- In-service professional development for teachers
- Community groups and organization tours
- School observing sessions
- Public night observing sessions
- Summer science camps
Research Uses of the Observatory and Telescope:
Even within the light-polluted skies of Fairfax, researchers can:
- Search for planets beyond our solar system
- Conduct studies of stellar surfaces and interiors with a high resolution spectrograph
- Search for supernovae
- Study planetary atmospheres