The Robotically Controlled Telescope Consortium

The RCT Consortium

SCSU, Western Kentucky University, Villanova University, and the Planetary Science Institute are the charter members of the RCT Consortium which has taken over management of the 1.3-meter telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory, approximately 50 miles west of Tucson, Arizona. The telescope is currently being refurbished in order to make it robotic. When fully operational, the telescope will be capable of observing in any one of three modes, manually on-site, remotely in real time over the Internet, or robotically without human intervention.

Western Kentucky University took the lead in forming the consortium and acquiring the funding for the refurbishment of the telescope from the Office of Space Science. The other members and Western Kentucky are providing for the long-term upkeep of the facility through annual consortium membership fees, in-kind contributions, and additional funds from grants and other sources.

SCSU is contributing to the facility through its annual membership fee, by providing partial support for a postdoctoral research assistant and by acquiring computer hardware and imaging filters. Students and faculty members from SCSU will use most of their share of the observing time to observe emission-line objects in our own galaxy as well as extragalactic systems including starburst galaxies.

RCT Web Cam

View of some of the telescopes on Kitt Peak. The RCT telescope is the one located near the center of the image.

View of Kitt Peak

The RCT at Kitt Peak

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The 1.3-meter Robotically Controlled Telescope (RCT) at Kitt Peak National Observatory, near Tucson, Arizona.

Charge-coupled device

rct

A Charge-coupled device is more