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College of Arts and Sciences

Observatory

Building Information

Number: R2

Contact

Dr. Brian Rachford

Associate Professor, Observatory Director

Astronomy

Work: 928-777-3971

E-mail:

Observatory

The Embry-Riddle Prescott Observatory Complex is a resource for Space Physics students and the active and diverse astronomy community in 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:

  • Exoplanets transiting in front of their parent stars
  • Eclipsing binary star systems in which the two stars are alternatively passing in front of each other
  • Pulsating stars that periodically swell and contract

Observatory Facility and Equipment 

(Also have a look at our Informal Observatory Page with more information...)

The Embry-Riddle Prescott Campus Observatory Complex consists of a 12" Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope, the 14" CCD Debris Telescope, and the Radio Observatory.

The 12" telescope is equipped with an SBIG XT-10XME CCD camera and a professional UBVRI filter set for research-quality brightness measurements ("photometry") of stars, as well as real-time pictures of astronomical objects for public viewing. This telescope is primarily used to support student research projects, including the senior projects for the Space Physics degree program.

The CCD Debris Telescope (CDT) was given to Embry-Riddle by NASA and is optimized for tracking rapidly moving near-Earth objects such as satellites and space debris, as well as asteroids.

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.

Observatory Faculty

Dr. Andri Gretarsson

Assistant Professor, Radio Observatory

Physics

Work: 928-777-3969

E-mail:

Dr. Brian Rachford

Associate Professor, Observatory Director

Astronomy

Work: 928-777-3971

E-mail: