The Embry-Riddle Prescott Observatory Complex, ranked No. 8 among such observatories in the nation, is an incredibly valuable resource for ERAU's Space Physics students as well as for the entire astronomy community of Prescott. Students use the observatory for collection and analysis of astronomical data for use in research projects for degree requirements. Faculty members also use the observatory for research and to provide outreach to the community through public viewings, open houses and other events in conjunction with local educators and astronomy enthusiasts.
Student research at the Observatory Complex produces outstanding results in student projects, such as:
The Embry-Riddle Prescott Campus Observatory Complex consists of the Optical Observatory and the Radio Observatory.
The Optical Observatory has been recently upgraded with a new telescope and electronic camera system. The telescope is a 16-inch Meade LX600-ACF equipped with an 11-megapixel scientific-quality SBIG STXL-11002 CCD camera. A professional UBVRI filter set for the camera allows students to make research-quality brightness measurements of astronomical objects such a exoplanets, variable stars, and supernovae. This telescope is primarily used to support Astronomy labs and student research projects, including senior capstone projects for the Astronomy and Space Physics degree programs.
The Radio Observatory currently consists of one 4-meter radio dish equipped with a 1420 GHz detector (21 cm wavelength for detecting hydrogen gas), and a large wire antenna for detecting solar activity and other sources of radio waves in the Solar System.