Located in the middle of a biology preserve near Emerado, North Dakota, the University of North Dakota Department of Space Studies operates a small Internet-controllable astronomical observatory for research and education.
Built in 1996 and renovated in 2005 – in part with help from the North Dakota Space Grant Consortium -- the refurbished observatory includes two Meade classic 16-inch and one 10-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes, that support a variety of CCD imaging cameras.
The observatory includes three roll-off roofs to protect the telescopes from inclement weather, (especially in North Dakota winter!) along with a remote weather station and an all-sky camera.
Currently, this observatory is being used for Master’s level thesis and independent study projects at UND and as an educational resource for two courses in observational astronomy.
Recent research projects include broadband photometry of T Tauri stars and of G2V (i.e., Sun-like) stars to constrain their ranges of variability over long time periods, asteroid spectroscopy and photometry, solar research, and an education-based thesis involving students from Central High School in Grand Forks learning observational astronomy concepts and techniques.
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