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Facilities

Telescopes: Access Across the Electromagnetic Spectrum

Michigan Astronomy has invested heavily in partnerships with leading telescopes around the globe to provide its members privileged or special observing access across the electromagnetic spectrum.

“Privileged access” means that U-M not only has substantial guaranteed time on these telescopes, but that its PhD students have priority over faculty, postdocs, and research scientists in observing for their thesis. “Special access” means that specific faculty and their students receive observing access because they are actively involved in building instruments for the facility.

Privileged Access Facilities
  • Magellan: Optical, Southern Sky
  • MDM: Optical and Infrared, Northern Sky
  • Swift: Gamma Ray, X-ray, Ultraviolet, Optical
  • Millimeter Radio: Coming Soon

Special Access

  • CHARA: Optical/Infrared Interferometry

Training and Special-Use Telescopes

U-M also owns or is a partner in several smaller telescopes, which are used for specialty observing programs, student training, and/or public outreach.

Surveys & Computing

U-M has made a strong commitment to the future of astronomy by investing in preferred access to major sky surveys like the Dark Energy Survey and the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope. Individual faculty members also work with Pan-STARRS. Through their involvement in building the surveys, faculty have unique insight in how to make best use of the data.

The University also offers a high-performance computing platform to support intensive data analysis.

Observatory

Angell Hall houses the primary student observatory, where astronomy undergraduates often get their first exposure to a professional telescope. The main telescope is a 0.4-m (16-inch) Ritchey-Chretien reflector, equipped with a spectrograph and camera. There is also a small radio telescope and 20-cm (8-inch) Schmidt-Cassegrains. The Student Astronomical Society runs public open houses at Angell Hall.

Above: Crab Nebula in multiple wavelengths. Image credits: Radio: NRAO/AUI; Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Gehrz; Optical: NASA/ESA/ASU/J. Hester; Ultraviolet: NASA; X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO/F. Seward et al.

Info & Support

Manuals, forms, schedules, and help using these facilities.

Planetarium

The Angell Hall Planetarium is located in Room 3118 of Angell Hall, and is the teaching planetarium of the Astronomy Department. Seating 25, it has a Zeiss ZKP 3/B projector in a 24-ft Astro-Tec dome.

The projector can display the sky as seen at any location on the Earth at any time. It projects 7,000 stars that can be seen with the unaided eye, the Milky Way, the Sun, the Moon (with phases), and the five brightest planets -- Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. A selection of bright galaxies, star clusters, and nebulae are also displayed.

The real power of the planetarium comes from its ability to compress time. For a single night, the change in the night sky from sunset to sunrise can be shown in just minutes. How the Sun, Moon, and planets move throughout the year can also be shown in minutes, not months.

The planetarium is used in the following undergraduate astronomy courses: 101, 102, 105, 201, and the mini-course 127.

Please see the outreach section for information on accessbility and parking. For technical information on the planetarium, fill out the Information Request Form, or contact the Astronomy Department.

Data Sets

Publicly available data sets generated and/or maintained by U-M Astronomy researchers. (Some data sets are maintained on faculty members’ individual websites. You can find these sites under People.)

Above: Crab Nebula in multiple wavelengths. Image credits: Radio: NRAO/AUI; Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Gehrz; Optical: NASA/ESA/ASU/J. Hester; Ultraviolet: NASA; X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO/F. Seward et al.