Site Information*

Latitude: 44° 41' 21.60" N (44.689333 degrees N)
Longitude: 63° 49' 33.65" (63.826013 degrees W)
Elevation: 114-metres (at instrument height above MSL)
IAU Observatory Code: I22
Time Zone: AST/ADT (UT-3 or 4 hours)
Visual Sky Brightness: MVM is about 5.7
Measured Sky Brightness: Sky Quality Meter readings of 20.6 are on the best nights (Bortle Scale of 4). Measurements range from about 20.3-20.6.
Seeing: Stellar profiles are typically 2.5" to 3" FWHM

* determined by LIDAR (latitude/longitude is WGS84, elevation is CVGD2013)

Telescope Specifications

The telescope is a Celestron C14 with the following specifications:

Optical Design: Schmidt-Cassegrain (classic) + 0.5x Optec NextGen telecompressor
Primary Mirror Diameter: 0.355-metres
Secondary Mirror Diameter: 114-mm
Original Focal length: 3910-mm
Effective Focal length: 2200-mm (at f/6.2)
Original Focal ratio: 11
Effective Focal ratio: 6.2 (with telecompressor)

CCD Imaging Specifications

The camera is an SBIG ST8XME with dual Optec IFW filter wheels.

Sensor: Kodak KAF-1603ME
Image Size: 1530 x 1020
Field of View: 21.4' x 14.3' (0.36 x 0.24 degrees) 
Pixel Size: 9 microns
Pixel Scale: 0.84" arc-seconds/pixel
Dark Current: 0.1 e- per second at -20C
A/D Converter: 16-bit
Gain: 2.5 e/ADU
Full Well: 100,000 e-
Read Noise: 15 e- RMS

Filters Available

Filter Name Description
CLR Clear (unfiltered)
B Astrodon Photometric B (for photometry)
V Astrodon Photometric V (for photometry)
R Astrodon Photometric R (for photometry)
I Astrodon Photometric I (for photometry)
BLU Optec blue filter (for pretty-picture imaging)
RED Optec red filter (for pretty-picture imaging)
GRN Optec green filter (for pretty-picture imaging)
LUM Optec luminance filter (for pretty-picture imaging)

Equipment List

  • Technical Innovations 10-ft Home-Dome (with some minor adjustments)
  • In-house developed custom dome rotation and shutter controllers (rotation sensing uses a bar-code reader)
  • Losmandy Titan german equatorial mount (with Gemini controller removed)
  • Sidereal Technology Servo II telescope controller with SiTechexe control software
  • Celestron C14 telescope (classic)
  • Optec TCF-S temperature-compensating focuser
  • Optec NextGEN WideField 0.5X telecompressor
  • SBIG ST8XME CCD camera
  • 2 x Optec IFW 5-slot filter wheels (stacked)
  • AAG CloudWatcher Cloud and Wind sensor
  • Windows 10 PC in the dome (custom heater for winter)
  • Digi Edgeport/8 8-port USB-Serial interface box
  • D-Link DCS-935L webcam
  • X10-based power control (dome, pier, and lights)
  • Windows 10 PC in the house (data storage and database/webserver)

Software List

  • Nova Astronomics: Earth Centered Universe Planetarium and Telescope Control
  • Diffraction Limited: MaxIM DL/CCD
  • Nova Astronomics: ARODome dome controller
  • Nova Astronomics: Dual Optec IFW filter wheel ASCOM driver
  • Abbey Ridge Auto-Pilot (custom to ARO/BGO) with lots and lots of scripts
  • Mission Control (custom to ARO/BGO)
  • BGO Social Media Gateway (custom to ARO/BGO)
  • DC3 Dreams: PinPoint
  • ASCOM Platform
  • Apache/MySQL/PHP database and website