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Astronomy in Charleston, Illinois August 26, 2008

Posted by jcconwell in Astronomy, IYA 2009, Observatory, telescopes.
Tags: , , , ,

The second day of class.

Welcome to EIU! For those interested, the Society of Physics Students and the Astronomy Club will be having a joint meeting and cookout this Wednesday at 6:00 PM, anyone interested just contact me through email.

Later on this week, on Friday August 29th, we will be having the first public open house at the observatory. Rain or shine, we’ll be there, and if the skies are clear the object for that night will be Jupiter. If you don’t know where the observatory is, you can download a map at: http://www.eiu.edu/~physics/observatory.php

Which bring me to the main part of this blog. What’s going on in Charleston for astronomy? Well, as I mentioned above, we have a observatory on campus, run bythe physics department. It has a 16″ Schmidt -Cassegrain telescope. Most of the time we don’t have an eyepiece in it, but a CCD camera. The camera is an SBIG8, with a filter wheel, for doing color pictures or photometry. When we aren’t taking pictures, we’re using our new spectrometer. Spectra is where much of our knowledge of the universe comes from. The whole place is run by myself and the students of the astronomy club, and our new astronomy option-physics majors.

If you look down to some earlier posts, you’ll see a picture of both the telescope and the outside of the observatory. But … that’s not all that is around !!

We are also lucky to have, just on the edge of Charleston, ARI, the Astronomical Research Instituite. This is a private observatory run by Robert Holmes. It has a 32″ and a 24″ telescope, with plans for a 50″ telescope. The major project there, is the NEO project, short for Near Earth Asteroid project. It’s the search for those large asteroids that have the potential to hit Earth. The wonderful thing about this is that high school teachers and students can become involved in this. If you’re a high school teacher that might be interested in getting your students involved go to:



For students out there interested in coming to Eastern to study physics an Astronomy here’s a picture

ARI’s 32″ telescope.

Clear skies, and I hope to see you Friday.



1. Maggie McAvoy - August 29, 2008

I noticed that you either failed to mention or I failed to see the time for the observation tonight, so I’m assuming that it’s going to be at the usual 8:00pm? And last I checked, it looked to be clear skies *knock on wood*, so this oughta’ be a great start 🙂

2. Maggie McAvoy - August 29, 2008

My bad–observation starts at 8:30!

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