Observatories near Longitude 105 West - Past, Present & Future

Dr. Bob Stencel, University of Denver Observatories

The historically high and dry climate of the Rocky Mountain region has given rise to numerous observatories.  These include the classic 1894 large refractor in Denver, and a proliferation of public and private telescope facilities ever since -- both optical and even for cosmic ray studies.  In this talk, we'll trace instrumentation and observational developments, from the pre-historic use of Medicine Wheels, to refractors, reflectors and multiple telescope systems -- all within the context of the effects of light pollution and climate change on astronomy and astrophysics.



Robert "Dr. Bob" Stencel is the William Herschel Womble Professor of Astronomy at Denver University and Director of the DU Observatories*. He became interested in astronomy as a result of Sputnik, and was fortunate to have as a mentor Ed Halbach, one of the founders of the Astronomical League. Following graduate study in astronomy at the University of Michigan, Dr. Stencel worked at NASA Houston and Greenbelt sites and then NASA Headquarters in Washington DC, prior to joining Denver University in 1993 where he teaches astronomy and astrophysics. Prof. Stencel has served as a judge for several years for the Astronomical League's National Young Astronomer Award program, and was recipient of a National Youth in Astronomy Award in 2002. He is also Coordinator for the Colorado Section of the International Dark-Sky Association. His recent research has focused on the rare eclipse of the bright star, epsilon Aurigae, using interferometric imaging, as well as large telescopes in space and on earth. For a summary of results, see: http://www.aavso.org/ejaavso402618 -- as well as notes on the related world-wide Pro-Am observing campaign: http://www.aavso.org/ejaavso402614 . *The Director of the DU Observatories: Chamberlin (1894 with its 20 inch, f/15 Clark-Saegmuller refractor) and Mt.Evans (1997 with its dual 28 inch f/21 R-C reflectors). Many members of the Astronomical League have been guest observers at Mt.Evans observatory during it's first decade of operations. Homepage: http://www.du.edu/~rstencel


Friday, August 18, 2017 - 11:15