The H.S. Mendenhall Observatory
A telescope of Ritchey-Chrétien optical design with a 24-inch (0.6-meter) diameter main mirror was built for OSU by Optical Guidance Systems, Inc., and installed the week of February 9-15, 2007. It is the largest, most modern telescope in Oklahoma. It was funded in 2005 by a $231,000 grant from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research in response to a proposal written by Professor Peter Shull, the observatory director. Its main purposes are to track large asteroids which threaten to collide with Earth, to photometrically discover planets orbiting other stars, and to measure the variable brightness of other objects such as quasars and supernovae.
Preparations for the new telescope, and its installation, are illustrated below.
This diagram illustrates how the 24-inch telescope fits inside the observatory's dome. (View the diagram at full size.)
DC motors with solar backup and electronics for computer-controlled operation of the dome were installed in June 2006.
In July 2006 the concrete telescope pier was reduced to a height of 36 inches to accommodate the mounting for the new telescope.
In September 2006 the mounting post for weather sensors was set up, and Vroom Wireless installed the microwave antenna for the internet connection.
The telescope arrives from the East Coast, and is installed during the week of February 9-15, 2007.
The telescope's 11-megapixel CCD camera, instrument rotator, focal reducer lens, and slide-mirror eyepiece were installed in April 2008.