Observatory

Welcome to Robinson Observatory!

Robinson Observatory (RO) is a research and education facility of the University of Central Florida. It is run by the faculty and students of the Planetary Sciences Group and of the Astronomy Society in the Department of Physics. The current director of RO is Dr. Yan Fernandez.

We are registered with the IAU’s Directory of World Astronomy and with Astronomers Without Borders. The Orlando Sentinel recommends us as a “thing you have to do before graduating from UCF.”  VisitFlorida’s UCF Flickr album highlights us.

Have a question or a comment? Contact us sending an email to planets@physics.ucf.edu. Sorry but we don’t have a telephone at the observatory. Visit our Safety, Directions, and History pages for more info.



Looking for info about our August 21 solar eclipse event? Click here.

Interested in our “Knights Under The Stars” public events?

Click here to check out our schedule and the event logistics!



Robinson Observatory acknowledges financial support from the UCF College of Sciences, the Fund for Astrophysical Research, and LIFE@UCF. In particular we are very grateful for support from COS, the Department of Physics, Facilities Operations, LIFE@UCF, and Prof. David Workman for help in upgrading our dome control and telescope control systems.

Visitors, Scouts, and AST 2002 students!

  • Click here to learn when we’ll have our next RO “Knights Under the Stars” public events (a.k.a. Open House, a.k.a. Public Viewing). You, yes you, can see the wonders of the night sky through our telescopes. These events are free, and no registration or reservation is required (unless you are bringing over 25 people, then as a courtesy let us know). Parking at the Observatory is free but limited, so please try to carpool.
  • Don’t know what’s what in the sky? That’s OK! Our knowledgeable staff will show you.
  • Interested in becoming a member of the Astronomy Society, a registered student organization dedicated to bringing astronomy to UCF’s teeming masses? Contact us at ucfastroclub (at) gmail.com.
  • Are you a Girl Scout or Boy Scout leader and want to get your troop excited about astronomy? Contact the Astronomy Society’s public liaison to arrange a guided visit of RO.
  • Click here to view our weather page.
  • We have forms for AST 2002 extra credit assignments; the form is only available at the event itself.
  • Contact the Planetary Science Group if you have questions.

Observers and Researchers!

  • We are located near 28° 35′ 30.3″ N, 81° 11′ 26.0″ W (±0.2″ or so). Our lawn is at an elevation of 60 feet, though the telescope itself is at about 77 feet above sea-level.
  • Our primary telescope is a 20-inch f/8.2 RCOS Ritchey-Chretien telescope.
  • At the Cassegrain focus of this telescope is a STL-6303E camera from Santa Barbara Instruments Group that houses a KAF-6303E 3072-by-2048 pixel CCD.
  • With our current setup, the pixel scale is 0.458 arcsec and our field of view is 23.4-by-15.6 arcmin (i.e. about 0.10 square degrees). Typical seeing is 2 to 4 arcseconds at our site. Standard Johnson-Cousins UBVRI filters are used with the camera. We are in the process of commissioning an SGS spectrograph (also from SBIG) for use at the telescope as well.
  • Science topics that are currently being or will be investigated at RO include: rotation periods of binary asteroids, long-term dust-production behavior of comets, photometric monitoring of variable stars, and exoplanet transits.

 


Some Links:

 

Clear Dark Sky Forcast