The Observatory, the largest in the state, is spread out on our hilltop site and has 24 telescopes plus other optical instruments. Our largest telescopes are a 32-inch Tectron with a Servocat and ArgoNavas automation system, a powerful, fully automated 25" Ritchey-Chretien Sangre telescope with a high resolution 6" refractor riding piggy back. We also have a 20.5 inch Dobsonian telescope that yeilds spectacular views of the heavens. Next in size are a Meade DS-16, two Celestron C-14's, a 12.5 inch Ritchey-Cretien Cassegrain, a 12 inch LX-200 Schmidt-Cassegrain, a 12 inch fork- mounted Newtonian, a 6 inch D & G refractor, 10" and 8" Schmidt-Cassegrains, three 6 inch Newtonians, a 6" AstroPhysics refractor, a 4 inch Unitron refractor, a 4 inch SCT, an 80mm refractor, 50, 70, and 80mm binoculars, and a 9.5 inch Maksutov Cassegrain and a number of smaller scopes.
For daytime viewing, we a number of different kinds of solar telescopes utilizing Solar filters (H-alpha, glass, and mylar) as well as solar projection. Our largest is an impressive 90mm Coronado solar telescope with spectacular views of prominences and other surface features on the Sun. Our daytime exhibits include a 300 foot scale model solar system, a large wall-mounted solar projection Analema/Calendar, sun clock, sundials, an 80' circumference celestial sphere, and a full-sized Stonehenge model that shows solstice and equinox sunrise and sunset points. These exhibits are used to demonstrate the Earth's motion and axial tilt, the eccentricity of the Earth's orbit and how the ancients predicted eclipses. PowerPoint presentations and talks on selected astronomical topics are available to visiting groups on request. An outdoor amphitheater and picnic/camping area are just down the hill from the Observatory.
For more serious observers, we have a small warm-up/library classroom building with a refrigerator. We also have an airconditioned bunk house with 14 beds and the French Camp Bed & Breakfast and Lodge can serve other housing needs.
We have an Observa-dome Planetarium with a six-meter dome and Spitz A-2 projector. The Planetarium, which can seat as many as 50 people, is used primarily as a sky orientation device and for PowerPoint presentations. It is the only planetarium for about 100 miles, and one of only three in the state. We offer a variety of programs and exhibits depending on the season and current sky objects. Visiting groups may want to take in a short planetarium show then go to the Observatory to observe. The planetarium houses museum exhibits, including an extensive meteorite collection, a library, a classroom and lecture hall, restrooms and a kitchenette.