BU adds new telescope to Astronomical Observatory

October 13, 2009

Students explore the sky with new telescope

BRANDON, MB – The stars have been brought closer to Brandon, thanks to the university’s new telescope at the BU Astronomical Observatory.

The new 16″ (0.41m) telescope was made possible by an endowment from Dr. Viola Lobodowsky.

“The venerable 10” telescope atop the McMaster Residence has served BU and the people of Westman for almost 40 years,” said Dr. Austin Gulliver, Dean of Science. “Its modern, computer controlled replacement will serve even better to illustrate the wonders of the sky to our students and the general public”.

The opening ceremony for the new telescope is a prelude to monthly evenings at the observatory where the public is welcome to attend viewings. With the cooperation of the weather, invited guests will have the opportunity to look at the moon, Jupiter, Uranus and bright colourful stars. As it gets darker, some star clusters and galaxies will become visible.

Also new to the observatory is an astronomical CCD camera. It allows electronic imaging of faint galaxies in real time for the guests. Purchase of the CCD camera was made possible by a grant from NSERC PromoScience.

“The new telescope and CCD system makes it possible for the first time at BU, that observations for original astronomical research can be performed from the middle of Brandon, and for BU undergraduates to be trained in observing and data analysis techniques used all over the world at large observatories,” says Dr. Tyler Foster, Chair of the Department of Physic & Astronomy. “It also adds a new modern dimension for guests visiting the observatory to experience digital visual astronomy first-hand.”

One of the first research projects that students will work on with the new equipment is searching for other planets around distant stars.

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For more information, or to arrange interviews, please contact:

 

  • Dr. Austin Gulliver
  • Dean, Faculty of Science
  • Brandon University
  • P: (204) 727-9625
  • gulliver@brandonu.ca

 

  • Dr. Tyler Foster
  • Chair of the Department of Physics & Astronomy
  • Brandon University
  • P: (204) 727-7457
  • fostert@brandonu.ca