Located on top of the Information Technology building on APUS’s campus in Charles Town, West Virginia, a 22.5’ hemispherical dome houses a 650-pound reflective telescope, which boasts a mirror that is two feet in diameter. The Planewave CDK24 telescope, equipped with a highly sophisticated digital camera, is a key technological component in the University’s Space Studies curriculum. This fully remote-controlled telescope is a testament to the University’s dedication to providing innovative online instruction.
The telescope is a dedicated resource for both faculty and students in the APUS Department of Space Studies, both of whom have the opportunity to use the telescope for educational purposes and to perform original astronomical research. Graduate-level students work with faculty to collect original astronomical data for their own research and thesis projects. Undergraduate students have the opportunity to assist in analyzing the data, thus gaining authentic hands-on observational experience.
“We are one of only a few online universities with a Space Studies program that operates such a large telescope. This gives our students a very nice edge when it comes to graduating and entering the career field," states Dr. Albin.
Inside the Dome
- Ash Dome
- Telescope Pier
- PlaneWave A200 Mount
- PlaneWave CDK24 Telescope
- Tele Vue NP127is Refractor
- SBIG STX-16803 camera; SBIG FW-7 filter wheel; Astrodon Off-Axis guider; SBIG guide camera
- SBIG STT-8300 camera; SBIG FW-8 filter wheel