The Rothney Astrophysical Observatory (RAO) is an astronomicalobservatory located near the hamlet of Priddis, Alberta, Canada, about 25 kilometres (16 mi) southwest of Calgary. The observatory is owned and operated by the University of Calgary (UC), and was dedicated in 1972. The facility is used for research, undergraduate and graduate teaching, and public outreach. Research performed at the RAO included a variable star search program, follow-up observations of variable star discoveries, and detailed investigation of binary stars. An outstanding minor planet search program was also performed with comet discoveries by Rob Cardinal. The RAO now participates in many follow-up observation programs, including the Quark Nova project.
The 1.8 m (71 in) A.R. Cross Telescope (ARCT) is a Ritchey-Chrétien design dedicated in 1987. It is attached to an unusual altitude-altitude (alt-alt) mount which allows greater access to northern skies than other mounts. It was originally equipped with 1.5 m (59 in) metal mirror acquired many years earlier, but even before the telescope was completed, plans were made to acquire a conventional mirror. This new primary was fabricated in the 1980s and, under a cost-sharing agreement, used from 1990 to 1993 at Apache Point Observatory. The glass mirror was finally installed in 1996. The telescope is equipped with the Rapid Alternate Detection System (RADS) developed at UC. The computer-controlled "chopping" of the secondary mirror enables observers to perform differential photometry with the telescope.
^Williams; Milone (2011). "First results from the RAO Variable Star Search Program: I. Background, Procedure, and Results from RAO Field 1". arXiv:1101.5650 [astro-ph.GA].
^Lenhardt, Tyler; Williams, M.; Milone, E.; Langill, P. (2006). "Study of a Variable Star Discovered with the 0.5-M F/1 Baker-nunn Patrol Camera of the RAO". American Astronomical Society Meeting 208. 208: 83. Bibcode:2006AAS...208.0501L.
^Kijewski, K. E.; Milone, E. F. (1997). "New UBVRI Photometry of the Enigmatic Eclipsing Binary RT Lacertae". American Astronomical Society. 189: 730. Bibcode:1997AAS...18912007K.