George Mason University Opens
an Astronomy Observatory atop Research Building 1
2012 Observatory Calendar ::
32RCT Astrophotos :: Telescope Installation + :: Telescope Dedication
In August of 2004, George Mason University (GMU) began construction
on a new building dedicated to research. It is currently referred
to as Research 1.
On the top of this building, the administration
placed a small astronomical observatory, capable of supporting
a good-sized optical telescope. The observatory was
officially opened in January 2007.
The observatory is currently home to a 32" Ritchey-Chretien Telescope,
12" Cassegrain (Mancini), 6" Solar Telescope,
16" Dobsonian (Strickland), 2 Meade 12" SCTs
and 2 telescopes from Mason's original observatory.
Below are some pictures of the construction, including the dome and pier completion:
Link here for additional construction pictures
Join us this semester in our on-campus observing sessions.
Learn some history of the GMU Observatory.
While the main purpose of the observatory is to meet the educational
needs of GMU's students, it will also be a special place shared with our
Washington D.C. community. Evenings "under the stars" each month will
be offered to the region's residents. During these special nights,
attendees will enjoy stimulating presentations on the mysteries of
outer space, given by our world class astronomer researchers and
instructors. Science teachers for grades K-12 will be invited to bring
their students for an astronomy class in the star-studded sky at George
Mason University. Views from our observatory will also be shared by
millions of people around the world via the internet.
In order to create these educational opportunities, we are seeking
donations. For a gift of $1000 or more you may have your name listed
on a plaque inside the main lobby of Research 1. GMU faculty and staff
were among the first to generously respond with donations toward buying
a large telescope (80-cm diameter mirror) and ancillary equipment
(including CCD-camera, computers, computer interface, etc.). The
School of Physics, Astronomy and Computational Sciences is enthusiastically seeking
additional funding for these purchases.
make contributions on-line to the GMU Foundation!
On the form under "Other Established Fund" type in Astronomy Observatory. You may want to state in the "Comments" section that you want the funds to go to
the Astronomy Observatory specifically again.
George Mason University is also seeking people and companies who would
like to know more about the related and highly visible naming opportunities:
- Tower in Research I
For more information, please contact:
Dr. Harold Geller
School of Physics, Astronomy and Computational Sciences
College of Science