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Fan Mountain Observatory

Fan Mountain Observatory

Covesville (VA), 22931, United States

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(434) 924-7494

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Description Fan Mountain Observatory, an observatory operated by the Astronomy Department of the University of Virginia in southern Albemarle County, Virginia. It was opened in 1966 with a 31in Tinsley reflector, with a 40in Baker-Schmidt astrometric reflector following in 1972, to extend the parallax work of the McCormick Observatory, which was suffering from light pollution from growing Charlottesville, Virginia by this time. Today both telescopes have been outfitted with state-of-the-art instruments and are operated nightly by university students and faculty. The primary instruments for the 40in telescope are a 2048x2048 SITe CCD for direct imaging and a fiber-fed visible wavelength spectrograph, FOBOS, for general spectroscopy and precision radial velocity measurement. The 31in telescope supports a 1024x1024 HAWAII-1 based HgCdTe infrared camera operating between 0.8 and 2.5 µm. This camera is capable of direct imaging in an 8.5 x 8.5' field with 0.5" pixels as well as polarimetry and grism spectroscopy.Fan Mountain observatory hosts a "public night" twice each year when eyepieces are placed on the two telescopes for general viewing. At other times, the facility is closed to the public, including the grounds and road up to the observatory.

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