We report the founding of a new facility for astrophotography and small-telescope science. Sierra Remote Observatories are eight small observatories at 4610' altitude in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. The sky brightness during New Moon typically rates 3 on the Bortle scale. Typical seeing is 1.2", with a one-sigma range between 1.0" and 1.6", measured during 2007 June-September. All eight observatories are operated by remote control over the Internet, from as far away as Toronto and South Carolina. The telescopes range in aperture from 106 mm to 16 inches. Color images have so far been published in several magazines (Astronomy, Practical Astronomer, and Sky & Telescope) and on NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day website. Science programs include time-resolved photometry of cataclysmic variables including the discovery of a 3.22-hour periodicity in the light curve of the nova-like V378 Pegasi, the serendipitous discovery of a previously undesignated spherical bubble in Cygnus, the discovery of three asteroids, and monitoring of Comet Lulin.
American Astronomical Society Meeting Abstracts #214
- Pub Date:
- May 2009