Soon there will be three observatories in AI2 network. Station 1 is the primary facility and we have 2 other sister observatories (Station 2 & 3) located in Arizona. These 2 contribute to the overall research and will soon commit a few hundred hours to the robo-scope schedule each year as well. These two facilities are still in the process of coming online. We expect them to be fully operational by Q3 2017, At that point we will launch a website for each and provide links from here.
Station 1 saw first light in April 2016 and has been committed to projects every clear dark night since then. We logged about 1800 hours of observing time this year and have a goal of 2000 hours for next! Please browse the pages on this site to get familiar with the services we offer.
Station 1 is located under dark rural Pennsylvania skies. Seeing is typically good (@ 1 arc sec) and 75% of the time we are cloudless (or near cloudless). We have light pollution ratings of Bortle 4 and Danko 4.5. Horizons are low and we can access almost -50* DEC in the right conditions. The sky is generally transparent with low humidity and a naked eye visibility (NELM) down to 6.5 mag. Following is the light pollution map for our area.
A local relief survey shows variation from only 100-1100 feet. This ‘gently rolling’ topography keeps the air stable and limits currents.
The horizon is accessible in just about all directions. Roughly 340 degrees are visible at all times. There is a small obstruction at NNW that rises up halfway to Polaris. Small enough that most of the sky being blocked at one point of the night will come into view later. The arc of the ecliptic however is completely viewable. The MilkyWay is rich and a few galaxies can be seen with the naked eye.
Panoramic picture (take w iPhone)
Skycam (feed from Arlo)