The 17" telescope at Hampden-Sydney Observatory became fully operational in the Fall of 2013. Professor Mike McDermott lead the two year-long renovation effort, supported primarily by Physics department technician Mr. Irvin Robertson. The finishing touches to the operation were performed by Professors McDermott and Whelan. Following are some images highlighting developments at the observatory.
Here are two images of the new observatory dome. The building that is attached to the dome room is the observing room, where the computer control systems are stored.
Here is an image from the inside of the dome, showing the new 17" Planewave telescope on its pillar mount
"First Light" occurred in the early morning hours of the 26th of August, 2013. Professor David Whelan observed two sources to show off the telescope's new abilities: This is a three-color image of the Pinwheel Galaxy, a spiral galaxy much like our own. It was observed with the IR filter (shown as red), the G (green), and the H-α narrow band filter (blue).
This is an image of the Dumbbell Nebula, a planetary nebula. It was observed with the R filter (red), the G filter (green), and the H-α filter (blue). The H-α images took the longest to exposure, with an integration time of 1000 seconds, or 16 minutes and 40 seconds.