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Welcome to Pine Mountain Observatory

Pine Mountain Observatory is owned and operated by the University of Oregon. Designed as a professional astrophysics research facility back in the late 1960s, the Obervatory's current prime mission is Public Education. This is one of the few professional observatories where the general public as well as school groups can come up at nighttime to visit, to see what happens at such a faciltiy, and to view celestial objects through some of the large research telescopes. We also offer a very robust outreach program, bringing modern astrophysics lessons and technologies to many K-12 classrooms throughout Oregon, and training dozens of teachers to perform inquiry-based lessons. Students are encouraged to request and use authentic digital imaging data from PMO's COWCAM camera at the 32" telescope, and from the PIGGY camera on the 24" telescope. We are in the process of designing and raising funds to build an on-site Education Center containing a classroom facility plus several smaller automated research imaging telescopes.

Visiting Pine Mountain

PMO is about 30 miles southeast of Bend, in Central Oregon. Take State Highway 20 east from Bend, toward Burns. 26 miles from Bend, just beyond the tiny Millican store (no gas available!), turn right (south) on the dirt road and follow it to the top of Pine Mountain, about 8 miles. This is about an hour's drive from Bend. Be sure you have enough fuel to return to Bend, and be sure to bring warm clothing and perhaps some non-alcoholic beverages in case you get thirsty.

Friends of Pine Mountain Observatory

The Friends of Pine Mountain Observatory are the corps of volunteer amateur and professinal astronomers who provide public interface and a variety of services for the Observatory. Friends members are the trained Tourguides who host the onsite tours. Several of the Friends visit classrooms with our outreach programs, and are involved with the training of teachers. Some Friends provide a great deal of technical support, building and maintaining various pieces of hardware and software for research and educational instrumentation. Many Friends are financial donors. The group, founded by the late Observatory Director, Dr. James Kemp, back in 1978, continues to provide the major "face" of UO astrophysics to Oregonians. We welcome new members, and actively seek volunteers to help staff our summertime Visitors' Program. Annual sugggested donation amount starts at $35, contact Mr. Bob McGown, VP-Membership, to join FOPMO. Contact Mr. Greg Hogue, if you're interested in being trained for the TourGuides/large telescope operators' program.