Planewave 0.7-m Reflector

The PlaneWave CDK700 was built by PlaneWave in 2018-2019 and was installed and commissioned at Whitin Observatory during the summer of 2019.

It has a 0.7-m diameter primary mirror and an effective focal ratio of f/6.5. Its dual Nasmyth ports allow us to mount our imaging CCD on one side and an eyepiece or spectrometer on the other side.  

Our primary imaging instrument is a Finger Lakes Instrumentation Proline PL23042 CCD camera. The sensor is a 2k x 2k CCD thinned, back-illuminated chip with 15um pixels that give a 24' field of view.  A new Finger Lakes filter wheel sits in front of the camera and holds ten 50-mm square filters, selected from among a set of broadband photometric UBVRIgriz and colorless filters from Omega Optical, plus 890-nm methane absorption and hydrogen-alpha band filters.

A student-designed fiber-fed spectrometer is currently under construction.

The 0.7-m telescope is in use nearly every clear night, offering students the chance to learn observational astronomy techniques on a professional-quality instrument. It's also heavily used to carry out research programs at the Whitin Observatory. Current research programs include exoplanet transit observations for the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite project.