INFORMATION about PINE MOUNTAIN OBSERVATORY, 2005
WHAT IS PINE MOUNTAIN OBSERVATORY (PMO)?
PMO is a University of Oregon facility for astronomy education
research. The observatory consists of three Cassegrain reflecting
with mirrors of 15", 24", and 32" diameters, each in its own domed
Digital cameras are mounted to the 24" and 32" instruments. There
a high speed (T1) Internet server on site.
CAN THE PUBLIC VISIT PINE MOUNTAIN OBSERVATORY?
YES! We welcome visitors on Friday and Saturday evenings (we’re
Sundays) from late May through last Friday/Saturday in September,
permitting. Please let us know in advance if you plan to bring a
of over eight people. Programs commence at 900 PM through
then move back to 830 PM and 800 PM start times by September as
falls earlier. We encourage a $3.00 donation per person. We
be able to arrange visits at other times by advance reservation.
need to be clear, "Dark Moon" weekends are best. Virtual tour at http://pmo-sun.uoregon.edu/~pmo/tour.html
WHERE IS PINE MOUNTAIN OBSERVATORY? HOW DO I GET THERE?
PMO is about 30 miles southeast of Bend, in Central Oregon. Take
Highway 20 east from Bend, toward Burns. 26 miles from Bend, just
the tiny Millican store (no gas available!), turn right (south) on the
road and follow it to the top of Pine Mountain, about 8 miles.
is about an hour's drive from Bend. Be sure you have enough fuel to
to Bend, and be sure to bring warm clothing and perhaps some
beverages in case you get thirsty.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT WHEN I VISIT PINE MOUNTAIN OBSERVATORY?
At sunset, a tour-guide gives a presentation inside the 32" building
basic astronomy. The audience learns what Astronomers do and how they
it including how our telescopes and digital CCD Cameras work. After
tour-guides show visitors objects through the various telescopes, CCD
and a pair of giant binoculars, and point out various objects of the
sky visible with naked eye. As you view objects, tour-guides
in detail about what you see. The 15" telescope is used for visual
The 24" is also currently available for visual use and has a
CCD Camera to create wide-field images. Visitors can "take a
or nebula home" on disc (the digitized image). The 32"'s camera
drive system have been upgraded and are in service for research Sunday
Thursday but the telescope configuration prevents visual use. If
sky stays clear, we often stay up all night viewing! Often some
the tour-guides set up their personal telescopes for guest viewing,
of the scopes are larger than the telescopes in the domes!
astronomers are welcome to bring their own telescopes and binoculars,
power is available.
IS THERE A PLACE TO CAMP OVERNIGHT? (nearest motels are in
Yes, a primitive Forest Service Public Campground,
is just across the road from PMO and rarely full. No fees.
fires are regulated by danger levels set by the Forest Service. Bring
to drink and extra water to douse campfires.
WHAT PRECAUTIONS ARE RECOMMENDED?
PMO is 6300 feet high, therefore, temperatures can get below freezing
on summer nights. Please bring warm clothing! The buildings
separated by natural mountain terrain and stairs, and the buildings
stairs. Please wear protective footwear and expect to climb
You should bring a SMALL flashlight to help you find your way in the
but try to provide a red colored shield for your flashlight, to protect
night vision. We welcome children (grade school and up), but
children and infants will probably not be comfortable in this
PLEASE CALL (541) 382-8331 (PMO-on Bend exchange) FOR INFO/RESERVATIONS
to schedule visits of classes/groups to PMO.
MAP TO PMO:
MAP TO PMO:Hwy 97 from Portland
| 26 miles east Hwy 20 from
Eugene------Bend-----------Millican---------east to Burns just past
| south on dirt rd,| PMO is 8 miles up mountain
EDUCATIONAL/CONNECTIVITY INFO for PINE MOUNTAIN
contact Rick Kang, Friends of PMO, 541-683-1381,
SCIENCE is Discovery: Asking Questions, Taking Data, and Forming
Conclusions. Modern ASTRONOMERS (ASTROPHYSICISTS) take data while
at workstations often far away from the actual telescope...YOU are
invited to join these modern OBSERVERS, to make your own discoveries!
Objects in the Universe are separated by vast distances, many
Astronomers need high-tech tools to GATHER, RECORD, and ANALYZE
the faint light (few photons) from these distant objects.
TELESCOPES use large mirrors to GATHER the light.
CHARGE-COUPLED-DEVICE (CCD) CAMERAS efficiently electronically RECORD
faint light to produce mosaic-like DIGITAL images of distant targets.
Exposures of only several SECONDS reveal objects invisible to the eye.
COMPUTERS ANALYZE the digital images by modifying contrast and
measuring intensities of the collections of pixels. Detail
POPS OUT on the CRT screen! Positions and brightness are readily
measured. Digital files are easy to store and send via DISC or
offering anyone easy access to authentic data.
WHERE IS INFO ABOUT CLASSROOM OUTREACH, PROJECTS, REMOTE IMAGING?
See "Info for Teachers & Students" area on
Friends of PMO web site. We encourage teachers to visit PMO and to
their students. We offer staff development seminars and classroom
to acquaint teachers and students with basic astronomy, modern
and our CCD Digital Observing Project (CCDDOP) where students
actual scientific data from the sky, using INTERNET to remotely operate
CCD Camera mounted on a large telescope. You need TIMBUKTU
software from Netopia to use CCDDOP, and there is a $20 user fee for
Contact Rick, 541-683-1381, firstname.lastname@example.org
about outreach/remote imaging,
Contact Mark, 541-382-8331, email@example.com
to schedule tours of PMO.
WHAT IMAGE PROCESSING PROGRAMS/IMAGE FORMATS ARE AVAILABLE?
Richard Berry's Astronomical Image Processing (AIP) software is
for WIN platforms. Professor Bothun is developing a JAVA applet
handling FITS images via the Web to allow access by MAC users.
are primarily in .STx or FITS format. Archived images are posted in GIF
on our web site.
WHO RUNS THE VISITORS'/EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS? HOW DO I GET
Friends of Pine Mountain Observatory (FOPMO), a group of dedicated
amateur astronomers, primarily from Bend, Eugene, and Portland, serve
Tour-Guides and also operate the classroom outreach program. Many
contribute important material, skilled labor, and financial
We are always looking for new people to get involved, and we offer an
Send $20.00 (suggested annual enrollment fee, more if you can) made out
Friends of PMO to Bob Ewing Membership VP, FOPMO, PO Box 5795, Eugene,