The Hirsch Observatory is an astronomical observatory at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, New York. It is located on the roof of the Jonsson-Rowland Science Center (seen in picture) and is used by members of the Astrophysical Society as well as astronomy students in laboratory exercises. It is also frequently opened to the community for public viewing sessions. The observatory's main dome contains a 16" Cassegrain Reflector, with a CCD camera and fully computerized controls. The observatory also owns several smaller scopes, and a SBIG Spectrograph. The spectrograph has been used to catalog bright solar spectrum as part of an effort to create an online digital database for astrophysical research.
The Student Observatory was completed on campus in 1942.<ref>History of the Observatory</ref> It was built to house the institute's 12" equatorial reflector. Today, the instrument sits on display in the lobby of the observatory. In 1980, the General Electric company donated the Boller and Chivens 16" Cassegrain telescope. The observatory was expanded and re-dedicated to celebrate the event. Then, in 1983, the observatory (reduced in size and scope) was moved to the roof of the Jonsson-Rowland Science Center to make room for construction of the Low Center for Industrial Innovation. During the fall and winter of 2006 there was a $70,000 refurbishment, in which the the control system and electronics were re-vamped and the telescope optics collimated. The institute considered replacing the telescope with a new one, but decided not to, because the older scope is heavier and has a much more stable mount then many newer scopes.<ref>"Hirsch Observatory Newly Revamped" The Polytechnic 02-01-2007</ref>
- Observatory Website
- Rensselaer Astrophysical Society
- Hirsch Observatory Clear Sky Clock Forecasts of observing conditions.
|Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Pages shamelessly copied over from Wikipedia)|
Amos Eaton Hall • Carnegie Building • Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies • Chapel + Cultural Center at Rensselaer • EMPAC • Folsom Library • Greene Building • Hirsch Observatory • Houston Field House • Jonsson Engineering Center • Low Center for Industrial Innovation