EAC’s Discovery Park Campus announces ‘Operating the GAO Telescope’

By Sarah Griffin

Thatcher — Eastern Arizona College’s Discovery Park Campus will once again offer AST 127, Section #6802, a two-day class on operating the GAO Telescope. Students will meet at Discovery Park Campus in the Jupiter room, Sept. 7 and 8 from 6-10 p.m.

This half-credit class is open to the community and will be taught by Bob Hiatt, past president of the Desert SkyGazers Astronomy Club and current operator of the 20-inch Tinsley Telescope at the EAC Discovery Park Campus.

“This class offers the opportunity to learn about the various designs of telescopes and how they operate,” said Discovery Park Campus Director Paul Anger. “Students will establish an understanding about telescopes from Galileo’s 5-inch leather tube with two hand-polished glass lenses to the world’s largest telescope located at the Mt. Graham International Observatory with its two 8.4-meter (27.5 feet) diameter mirrors.”

Students will also learn about the Daystar Hydrogen Alpha filter system that allows the 5-inch refractor telescope mounted on the 20-inch Tinsley Telescope to view the sun during daylight. They will use the Santa Barbara Instruments Group ST-6 CCD Imaging system for scientific-grade imagery on the exquisite solar details such as prominences and flares.

The highlight of the class will be an evening of hands-on training on the 20-inch Tinsley Telescope with the dome open to reveal the beauty of the night skies. As one of the largest research-grade telescopes available for public use at no charge, participants who successfully complete the class and are interested in volunteering are invited to join the campus on Saturday evenings to operate the telescope for the public and on special occasions for scheduled research projects.

For more information contact the EAC Discovery Park Campus at (928) 428-6260.