Bradley Observatory

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Bradley Observatory
Bradley Observatory entrance and dome.
Organization Agnes Scott College
Location Decatur, Georgia
Altitude 315.27 m (1034.37 ft)[2]
Established 1950
Beck Telescope 0.76 meter Cassegrain reflector optical
Beck Radio Telescope (BrAT) 3.1 meter radio telescope with receivers at K, U and L bands
Bradley Observatory
Location Roughly bounded by E. College, S. McDonough, S. Candler, E. Hill and E. Davis Sts., Decatur, Georgia
Governing body Private
Part of South Candler Street-Agnes Scott College Historic District (#94000787[3])
Added to NRHP July 29, 1994

The Bradley Observatory is an astronomical observatory owned and operated by Agnes Scott College. It is located in Decatur, Georgia, 5 miles (8.0 km) east of Atlanta, Georgia, (USA). The observatory's largest telescope, the Beck Telescope, is a vintage 30 inch (750 mm) Cassegrain reflector built in 1930. The telescope was owned and operated by an amateur astronomer, Mr. Gibson. He offered the telescope for sale, seeking to upgrade his own telescope. Agnes Scott purchased it in 1947 for about $15,000. For many years, the Beck telescope was the largest in the Southeast United States, until the Fernbank Observatory opened in 1972 with its 36-inch (910 mm) telescope.[4]

Beck Telescope

The observatory was built in order to house the Beck telescope and was dedicated in 1950.[5] It also houses faculty offices and a planetarium. The observatory is a contributing structure within the National Register South Candler Street-Agnes Scott College Historic District. Dr. Chris DePree is the current director of the Bradley Observatory.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Department of Physics and Astronomy, Agnes Scott College. "Bradley Observatory - Facilities". Retrieved October 16, 2007. 
  2. ^ U.S. Coast & Geodetic Survey traverse station at Bradley. Retrieved October 16, 2007.
  3. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. 
  4. ^ Lecture by Chris De Pree, "Sixty Years of Amateur Astronomy," November 9, 2007
  5. ^ Bradley Observatory. "Bradley Observatory homepage". Retrieved December 16, 2005. 

External links[edit]