Located at an elevation of over 2000 feet on the flanks of Brasstown Bald, the tallest peak in Georgia, the college's observatory features a Schmidt Cassegrain telescope housed in a 15-foot dome just a few minutes drive from campus. The observatory benefits from its high elevation and access to the wonderfully dark skies of northern Georgia. In addition to the main scope, the facility also contains outdoor telescope piers which can mount a number of other telescopes as well.
The observatory is open to the public when skies are reasonably clear on Friday evenings immediately after the planetarium show ends, which is normally about 8:45 p.m. The observing session will end between 9:30 and 9:45 p.m. However, all times are moved 30 minutes later in May, June and July because of later onset of darkness. The observatory is closed on the same dates as the planetarium.
CCD CAMERA IMAGES
The telescope can also be equipped with a CCD camera to take digital images. Below are two examples of pictures shot from the observatory using the main telescope coupled with a CCD camera. The first picture is M51, the Whirlpool Galaxy; the second one is the Moon.