Pine Mountain Observatory

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Pine Mountain Observatory
Pine Mountain Observatory, Oregon.JPG
Telescope domes at Pine Mountain
OrganizationUniversity of Oregon
Locationnear Bend, Oregon
Coordinates43°47′29″N 120°56′27″W / 43.7915°N 120.9408°W / 43.7915; -120.9408Coordinates: 43°47′29″N 120°56′27″W / 43.7915°N 120.9408°W / 43.7915; -120.9408
Altitude1,920 meters (6,300 ft)[1]
Established1967 (1967)
WebsitePine Mountain Observatory
unnamed telescope0.8 m reflector
unnamed telescope0.6 m reflector
unnamed telescope0.4 m reflector
Pine Mountain Observatory is located in the United States
Pine Mountain Observatory
Location of Pine Mountain Observatory

Pine Mountain Observatory (PMO) is an astronomical observatory owned and operated by University of Oregon Physics Department. It is located 26 miles (42 km) southeast of Bend, Oregon (USA) in the Deschutes National Forest on top of Pine Mountain.[1] The site was discovered by professors Russ Donnelly and E.G. Ebbinghausen in 1965 and has been in operation since 1967.[2][3]

PMO's mission includes a strong public education aspect. Programs for high-school students have not only include observation, but also analysis of data and preparation of a paper for publication.[4] PMO has developed software that enables K-12 teachers to perform observations remotely and process the data for classroom use [5]

As well as public education, the observatory hosts professional projects such as research on white dwarf stars and examining the large-scale structure of galaxies.[6][7]


  • A 0.82 m (32 in) Cassegrain reflector built in 1970 by Sigma Research has a 1024 x 1024 pixel thinned, rear illuminated, blue-sensitive CCD camera with a field size of approximately 36 arcminutes. It is mounted at the prime focus, which prevents direct observations.[1][8]
  • A 0.6 m (24 in) Cassegrain reflector was the first telescope installed at the site in 1967.[3]
  • A 0.38 m (15 in) Cassegrain reflector was used by Donnelly and Ebbinghausen before PMO was founded, and was later installed at the site.[3] As of 2007 a project was under way, in collaboration with Portland State University, to replace the historic instrument with a remotely controlled 0.36 m (14 in) telescope for astronomical imaging.[9]
  • A 0.36 m (14 in) Meade Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope was installed in 2015 and was dubbed the "Robbins" after Kenneth C. Robins whose contributions made the project possible. The telescope is operable from the University of Oregon campus in Eugene. It is currently be used for research by undergraduate students at the University.


The Robbins and the 0.6 m (24 in) are both being used for research.


Pine Mountain Observatory is open to the public every weekend from Memorial Day till the last weekend of September.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Pine Mountain Observatory Homepage". Retrieved 2007-09-05.
  2. ^ "Alumni & Development CAS News, Honoring the Hundredth Time". University of Oregon College of Arts & Sciences. Autumn 2005. Archived from the original on 2007-06-18. Retrieved 2007-09-05.
  3. ^ a b c Ebbighausen, E. G.; Donnelly, R. J. (1968). "The Pine Mountain Observatory of the University of Oregon". Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. 80: 230. Bibcode:1968PASP...80..230E. doi:10.1086/128617.
  4. ^ Frey, Thomas; Bensel, Holly; Bensel, Robert; Muller, Fred; Gasik, Ryan; Ruppe, Monika; Johnson, Jolyon; Medley, Danyal (2009). "Visual Measurements of the Neglected Double Star ARY 52 at the Pine Mountain Observatory Summer Science Research Workshop 2009". Journal of Double Star Observations. 5: 212. Bibcode:2009JDSO....5..212F.
  5. ^ Bothun, G. D.; Kang, R. (2000). "The Pine Mountain Observatory Outreach Program". American Astronomical Society. 197: 1606. Bibcode:2000AAS...19712005B.
  6. ^ Kemp, James C.; Swedlund, John B.; Landstreet, J. D.; Angel, J. R. P. (1970). "Discovery of Circularly Polarized Light from a White Dwarf". Astrophysical Journal. 161: L77. Bibcode:1970ApJ...161L..77K. doi:10.1086/180574.
  7. ^ White, P. M.; Bothun, G. (2003). "The Intrinsic Structure and Color of IC 342 from CCD Observations". Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. 115 (811): 1135. Bibcode:2003PASP..115.1135W. doi:10.1086/376973.
  8. ^ Kang, R. (1999). "Update on Pine Mountain Observatory (PMO), A Report to GNAT Summer 1998". Precision CCD Photometry. 189: 260. Bibcode:1999ASPC..189..260K.
  9. ^ "Friends of Pine Mountain Observatory - News". Friends of Pine Mountain Observatory. Retrieved 2012-01-19.

External links[edit]