The Westside Observatory, located atop a five-acre hill on Western's Westside campus, houses a 20-inch computer controlled Ritchey-Chrétien reflector. This telescope is dedicated to astrophysical research by undergraduate and graduate students and faculty. It is currently equipped with a thermoelectrically cooled CCD camera, which is used to obtain multi-color digital images of planets, faint stars and other deep-sky objects. Two CCD spectrometers are also available to obtain digital spectra at classification-level and higher resolution for celestial objects.
The WCSU planetarium, located in the Westside Observatory building, seats 40 people; its Spitz A3p star projector, special effects projectors and video projection system are used for teaching and presenting science programs to school and scout groups. Public nights to view stars and planets take place (weather permitting) on a regular schedule (see http://www.wcsu.edu/starwatch ) during the spring and fall terms.
Center for Galactic Astronomy
Astronomical computing is carried out at the Westside Observatory and at the Center for Galactic Astronomy. Students and faculty routinely use software like MaxIm DL (CCD camera control and image processing), Binary Maker (numerical modeling), MICA (ephemerides), TCS (telescope tracking and slewing) and The Sky (star charts and telescope linkage), with many other programs, simulations and databases accessible through the Web.
Photos taken in the observatory