Manner 0.6 Meter Remote/Robotic Telescope


The 0.6-meter Ritchie-Chretien telescope on Mt. Lemmon near Tucson, Arizona, was a gift to the university from Mark Manner of Nashville, Tennessee. Manufactured by RC Optical Systems, it is a near-twin to the largest telescope at Moore Observatory in Oldham County, and now provides our students and faculty with remote Internet access to the northern hemisphere sky seen from a dark mountain site. Its location in western North America allows us to work later in the night than from Kentucky, and complements our telescopes in Queensland, Australia, that access the southern sky. This telescope has exceptional high quality optics, and a 16-megapixel scientific CCD camera with a selection of filters for precision measurement of light from stars, time-sensitive rapid response to astronomical events, and for educational imaging of nebulae, galaxies, and planets in color. Operated remotely from Kentucky, the telescope is providing the highest quality ground-based research data known for determining the properties of extrasolar planets from the light they block as they orbit around their host star. The university works with he KELT project for extrasolar planet discovery, is a member of the NASA TESS mission ground-based photometry follow-up team, and collaborates with the University of Southern Queensland in offering astronomy facilities remotely to students in North America and Australia.