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New Telescope Installed in Friedman Observatory

Crane installing new telescope
10/10/2003 —

“Thanks to the generous donation of Rob Friedman and Anne Friedman, the continued support of Pauly and Sid Friedman, and to Dr. Tom Winter for initiating the process, we have been able to purchase a 16" Meade LX200 "Go-to" telescope,” announced Timothy Lawlor, Ph.D., assistant professor of physics and astronomy at the campus. The telescope was a gift to the Friedman Observatory in honor of Pauly and Sidney’s 50th wedding anniversary, paid for by their son and daughter and friends of the family.

The Meade 16” LX200 telescope is equipped with some of the most advanced technology available today. Particularly of interest is its “Go To” capability, which allows the scope to find anyone of 145,000 objects in the onboard database. Other features include: high-precision pointing mode, microprocessor-controlled sidereal-rate tracking, and a progressive-tension primary mirror lock. Aside from being automated, this new telescope will also gather more than 30% more light than the previous C14 telescope. The telescope is mounted on a massive fork system. The fork is cast in one piece and set on roller bearings, allowing the addition of auxiliary equipment. It is the most rigid tracking platform available on a production telescope.

The Friedman Observatory opened in 1990. The dome itself is standard, about sixteen feet in diameter with a retractable hatch. It has the capability to rotate so that different parts of the sky can be observed. According to Thomas Winter, Ph.D., professor of physics, “Before the dome was built, die-hard astronomy enthusiasts would carry portable telescopes and long extension cords to an open field. The bitter winter winds drove away all but the hardiest observers.” Since the Observatory opened its door, it has served college students, elementary and high school students, clubs and organizations, and community members in learning more about the myriad object in the sky. The Observatory is open for public viewing every Monday and Tuesday evening, weather permitting (check the web site at http://www.wb.psu.edu/observatory or call 570-675-9149 or 675-9278 for an up-to-date viewing schedule).

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