Physics Department

The Reed Telescope

The Reed Telescope is a 12” Meade LX200 ACF. It’s a reflector of the Schmidt-Cassegrain design, meaning it has a concave primary and a convex secondary mirror. This results in a long focal length (3048 mm) despite a compact optical tube.

Our specific model is the “ACF” (Advanced Coma Free) model. The primary mirror is spherical but corrected for spherical aberration and coma using a correcting lens in front of the mirror. The secondary mirror is hyperbolic.

The telescope is equatorially mounted which enables it to track objects as they move in circles around the celestial north pole throughout the night. This is critical for longer exposures with the CCD camera.

The telescope interfaces with three types of backends: 1) eye-pieces for direct viewing, 2) a camera put into the telescope’s focal plane to record images, 3) a fiber-fed spectrometer whose feed is at the center of the telescope’s focal plane.

Observing Schedule

Observing will be 8:30-10:00 pm on Mondays up until fall break.

Observing will only happen on clear nights; please consult Twitter feed for most up-to-date information.

August 28th
Civil twilight: 8:25 pm
Lunar phase: Waxing crescent

Sept. 4th
Civil twilight: 8:12 pm
Lunar phase: Waxing gibbous

Sept. 11th
Civil twilight: 7:58 pm
Lunar phase: Third quarter (not up)

Sept. 18th
Civil twilight: 7:44 pm
Lunar phase: New moon (not up)

Sept. 25th
Civil twilight: 7:31 pm
Lunar phase: Waxing crescent

Oct. 2nd
Civil twilight: 7:17 pm
Lunar phase: Waxing gibbous

Oct. 11th
Civil twilight: 7:01 pm
Lunar phase: Third quarter (not up)

Telescope Theses

The following is a list of theses from past Reed College graduates, who used the Meade 12” Schmidt Cassegrain telescope.  Because the current model on the physics building rooftop was purchased in 2015, it can be assumed that before 2015, the “Classic” model of the telescope was used.  Today, we use the “ACF” model.

Michael Solontoi (2000)
Observation and Orbital Determination of Near Earth Asteroid 1627 Ivar

Camas Goble (2002)
A Study of RR Lyrae Variable Stars

Ryan Lau (2010)
Exploration of Extra-Solar Planet Properties

Rosie Cottingham (2010)
Lightcurve Analysis of Asteroids 43 Ariadne, 2001 Einstein, and 3086 Kalbaugh