College Observatory


The SUNY Oneonta College Observatory is located at College Camp on the northeastern side of campus in Oneonta, New York.

The Observatory is home to the largest optical telescope in the state of New York, a computerized f/4 Newtonian reflector with a 1-meter (40-inch) primary mirror. The telescope, designated the NTT-40, was constructed by JMI Telescopes of Lakewood, Colorado; technical information can be found at the JMI NTT-40 webpage. In addition we have two observatory domes housing 16-inch and 14-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes, several smaller Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes, and seven sheds housing 4-inch refractor telescopes. The observatory is equipped with a variety of eyepieces, several electronic CCD cameras, an adaptive optics unit and a spectrograph. Among the collection of SBIG CCD cameras there is a research-grade SBIG CCD camera equipped with a filter wheel. Available filter sets include the RGBCL set used for amateur astrophotography as well as the Johnson-Cousins UBVRI and SDSS ugriz standard filter sets. Narrow-band H-alpha and O III filters are also available.

Currently, the observatory is used in our upper-level astronomy courses, including  Astronomy 2700 (Our Solar System), Astronomy 2710 (Stars and Galaxies), and Astronomy 3600 (Observational Methods). The facilities are also available for independent research projects by upper-level astronomy students. We also host observing nights that are open to the public, where people can view astronomical objects such as planets, star clusters, planetary nebulae and galaxies through the eyepieces.

Public Access and Outreach

Public Observing Nights at SUNY Oneonta College Observatory

Observing nights for the general public are held sporadically throughout the year, and often in conjunction with evening planetarium shows. On these nights, the public is invited to look through the telescopes and binoculars available on site. Often, some of our astronomy students or members of the community will bring their telescopes as well, turning the event into a miniature star party.

Please see the calendar for the schedule of public observing nights. Please bear in mind that due to the frequent cloudy or inclement weather in upstate New York, many observing nights will inevitably be canceled.

Calendar for Public Observing Nights

Group Visits to the Observatory
Visits to the SUNY Oneonta Observatory are offered for small groups of interested people such as scouts and community groups. Please contact Dr. Josh Nollenberg or Dr. Valerie Rapson for more information.

College Camp Driving Directions
The SUNY Oneonta College Observatory is located at College Camp which is a few miles northeast of campus. For a map and directions to College Camp and the SUNY Oneonta campus, click on the link below.

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