The Mount Allison Gemini observatory became functional in August 2008.
It includes the following:
Two 3.5 m diameter Sirius School Model prefabricated astronomical domes with motor controlled shutter opening and rotation.
On a subsurface concrete pier at the centre of each dome is attached an Aurora Model Astro Pier. This serves as the base for each telescope mount.
Losmandy Titan German Equatorial mount equipped with a Gemini (v4.0) GoTo system containing an object database of more than 41,000 celestial objects.
Celestron C-11 F/10 Schmidt-Cassegrain design. Diameter=280 mm; focal length=2800 mm. Starbrite XLT optics, carbon fiber tube. 9x50 finderscope. Variety of eyepieces and filters are available.
Alpha-1 filter, Sbig camera, and filter wheel.
Domes, telescopes, and accessories are all powered by 12 VDC solar powered battery sources.
How powerful are the telescopes?
Astronomers don’t usually use angular magnification as a measure of a telescope, but to answer the question, we usually use the telescopes at about 70x. The theoretical limit would be about 600x.
Aren’t trees and light pollution problems at the site?
Yes. We located the observatory there considering the safety and convenience of our student users, and to use facilities in the Dunn Building. NB Power helped reduce glare from nearby street lights, and the fence helps to make the site darker.
Who funded the project?
The Bell Fund provided more than half the total funding, and generous donors to the University provided much of the rest. Operating funds provided for some of the equipment.
How many objects can the telescope “find”?
The Gemini GoTo feature has a database of more than 40,000 objects.
How many trees were cut down for construction of the observatory?
What features are unique in the design of this observatory?
Having two identical domes and telescopes is rare in one site. Also, all operations are powered using solar energy. (We are not even connected to the electrical grid.)