GENERAL INFORMATION  about  PINE MOUNTAIN OBSERVATORY,  2005


WHAT IS PINE MOUNTAIN OBSERVATORY (PMO)?
PMO is a University of Oregon facility for astronomy education  and research. The observatory consists of three Cassegrain reflecting telescopes, with mirrors of 15", 24", and 32" diameters, each in its own domed building. Digital cameras are mounted to the 24" and 32" instruments.  There is 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 closed Sundays) from late May through last Friday/Saturday in September, weather permitting.  Please let us know in advance if you plan to bring a group of over eight people.  Programs commence at 900 PM through mid-summer, then move back to 830 PM and 800 PM start times by September as darkness falls earlier.  We encourage a $3.00 donation per person.  We may be able to arrange visits at other times by advance reservation.  Skies 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 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.

WHAT CAN I EXPECT WHEN I VISIT PINE MOUNTAIN OBSERVATORY?
At sunset, a tour-guide gives a presentation inside the 32" building about basic astronomy. The audience learns what Astronomers do and how they do it including how our telescopes and digital CCD Cameras work. After dark, tour-guides show visitors objects through the various telescopes, CCD Cameras, and a pair of giant binoculars, and point out various objects of the night sky visible with naked eye.  As you view objects, tour-guides explain in detail about what you see. The 15" telescope is used for visual observing.  The 24" is also currently available for visual use and has a piggybacked CCD Camera to create wide-field images.  Visitors can "take a galaxy or nebula home" on disc (the digitized image).  The 32"'s camera and drive system have been upgraded and are in service for research Sunday through Thursday but the telescope configuration prevents visual use.  If the sky stays clear, we often stay up all night viewing!  Often some of the tour-guides set up their personal telescopes for guest viewing, some of the scopes are larger than the telescopes in the domes!  Amateur astronomers are welcome to bring their own telescopes and binoculars, electrical power is available.

IS THERE A PLACE TO CAMP OVERNIGHT?  (nearest motels are in Bend)
Yes, a primitive Forest Service Public Campground, first-come-first-serve is just across the road from PMO and rarely full.  No fees.  Open fires are regulated by danger levels set by the Forest Service. Bring water to drink and extra water to douse campfires.

WHAT PRECAUTIONS ARE RECOMMENDED?
PMO is 6300 feet high, therefore, temperatures can get below freezing even on summer nights.  Please bring warm clothing!  The buildings are separated by natural mountain terrain and stairs, and the buildings contain stairs.  Please wear protective footwear and expect to climb steps.  You should bring a SMALL flashlight to help you find your way in the dark, but try to provide a red colored shield for your flashlight, to protect everyone's night vision.  We welcome children (grade school and up), but small children and infants will probably not be comfortable in this environment.
PLEASE CALL (541) 382-8331 (PMO-on Bend exchange) FOR INFO/RESERVATIONS and 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 Millican,turn | south on dirt rd,| PMO is 8 miles up mountain
                                             X


EDUCATIONAL/CONNECTIVITY INFO for PINE MOUNTAIN OBSERVATORY   2004
contact Rick Kang,  Friends of PMO,  541-683-1381,  Eugene  rkang@efn.org
SCIENCE is Discovery: Asking Questions, Taking Data, and Forming Rational  Conclusions.  Modern ASTRONOMERS (ASTROPHYSICISTS) take data while sitting 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 LIGHT-YEARS.
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 literally
POPS OUT on the CRT screen!  Positions and brightness are readily
measured.  Digital files are easy to store and send via DISC or INTERNET,
offering anyone easy access to authentic data.
 
HOW DO I FIND ASTRONOMY INFO and PINE MTN EDUCATIONAL INFO ON THE WEB?
***   http://pmo-sun.uoregon.edu    the main Pine Mountain site
***   http://pmo-sun.uoregon.edu/~pmo/   Friends of PMO educational site
Cable connectivity and latest version of browser software highly recommended!

WHERE IS INFO ABOUT CLASSROOM OUTREACH, PROJECTS, REMOTE IMAGING?
     See "Info for Teachers & Students" area on the Friends of PMO web site. We encourage teachers to visit PMO and to bring their students. We offer staff development seminars and classroom outreach to acquaint teachers and students with basic astronomy, modern technology, and our CCD Digital Observing Project  (CCDDOP) where students take actual scientific data from the sky, using INTERNET to remotely operate a CCD Camera mounted on a large telescope.  You need TIMBUKTU communications software from Netopia to use CCDDOP, and there is a $20 user fee for imaging sessions.
Contact Rick, 541-683-1381, rkang@efn.org about outreach/remote imaging,
Contact Mark, 541-382-8331, markpmo@oregon.uoregon.edu to schedule tours of PMO.

WHAT IMAGE PROCESSING PROGRAMS/IMAGE FORMATS ARE AVAILABLE?
Richard Berry's Astronomical Image Processing (AIP) software is excellent for WIN platforms.  Professor Bothun is developing a JAVA applet for handling FITS images via the Web to allow access by MAC users.  Images are primarily in .STx or FITS format. Archived images are posted in GIF format on our web site.
 

WHO RUNS THE VISITORS'/EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS?  HOW DO I GET INVOLVED?
Friends of Pine Mountain Observatory (FOPMO), a group of dedicated volunteer amateur astronomers, primarily from Bend, Eugene, and Portland, serve as Tour-Guides and also operate the classroom outreach program.  Many Friends contribute important material, skilled labor, and financial resources.  We are always looking for new people to get involved, and we offer an extensive training program.
 
Send $20.00 (suggested annual enrollment fee, more if you can) made out to Friends of PMO to Bob Ewing Membership VP, FOPMO, PO Box 5795, Eugene, Oregon, 97405.  (503-324-6083)
 

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