The Astronomy Department operates a number of facilities to support research and teaching in astronomy and astrophysics.
Indiana University is a partner in the WIYN telescope consortium which operates both a 3.5-meter telescope and a 0.9-meter telescope atop Kitt Peak southwest of Tucson, AZ. WIYN consists of the University of Wisconsin, Indiana University, University of Missouri, and the National Optical Astronomy Observatories. Indiana University has a 25% share in WIYN. The WIYN telescope instrumentation includes a wide field CCD camera with an atmospheric dispersion corrector and a multiple object spectrograph which uses optical fibers to obtain spectra of up to 100 objects simultaneously over a one-degree field. The active optics of the WIYN telescope system delivers excellent image quality and it is not unusual to obtain 0.5" images on good nights.
The department also collaborates with the University of Florida for observing time on the Dharma 50” robotic telescope on Mt. Lemmon in Arizona. The 50” (formerly located in the Morgan-Monroe State Forest) is equipped with an extreme precision radial velocity spectrometer capable of RMS velocity precision of 40 cm per second. IU receives 10% of the observing time on the facility.
Teaching facilities include the historic Kirkwood 12-inch refracting telescope on campus and a solar telescope that is housed in the same building, to view sunspots and prominences. Teaching facilities also include two telescopes located on the roof of Swain West.
Historic facilities include the Goethe Link Observatories (named for Dr. Goethe Link) of Indiana University which consists of two off-campus sites. The original Goethe Link site near Mooresville Indiana houses a 36-inch reflector and a 10-inch astrographic camera. This facility is operated jointly by the Astronomy Dept. and the Indiana Astronomical Society, an amateur astronomy group in the Indianapolis area. Because of nearby urban lights, the 36-inch telescope is not currently used for research, but is available to Astronomy Dept. staff for projects that can tolerate a brighter night sky. The Morgan Monroe Station (MMS) of the Goethe Link Observatories is situated in the Morgan-Monroe State Forest about 12 miles north of campus and is rather protected from light pollution. The MMS site houses a 16-inch automated telescope known as RoboScope.
For more information on Kirkwood Observatory, Morgan-Monroe Observatory, and Goethe Link Observatory please call the Astronomy Department at (812) 855-6911.