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Allegheny Observatory

Tripadvisor (7) · Research Institution
The Allegheny Observatory is an American astronomical research institution, a part of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of … See more


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Jul 30, 2022
We made a reservation that afternoon and went up a little early to enjoy the park. After an extensive talk concerning the history and background of the observatory, we went into the main dome and wer… Full review by 356geoffs
Aug 9, 2019
Great time and free. reserve in advance for Thurs and Fri. start off with history of the observatory. Tell all about Telescopes. Take you to the 47 foot telescope with the cool moving floor. They got… Full review by kerrman
Jul 31, 2019
Many of my friends who live in Pittsburgh have not taken advantage of one of Pittsburgh's "national treasures" it's a very cool, fun and educational experience for the whole family young and old. Full review by K J


Detections of Extrasolar Planets
The Allegheny Observatory is an American astronomical research institution, a part of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Pittsburgh. The facility is listed on the National Register of Historical Places and is designated as a Pennsylvania state and Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation historic landmark. Current Work: The main active research pursuit at the Allegheny Observatory involves detections of extrasolar planets. This is done using photometry, which is the practice of measuring the brightness of stars. The brightness of a target star and its close neighbors are measured on digital images taken every 30-60 seconds, and if a planet crosses in front of its parent star's disk, then the observed visual brightness of the star drops a small amount. The amount the star dims depends on the relative sizes of the star and the planet. The research team consists of students at the University of Pittsburgh whose observations have recently contributed to a collaborative effort to observe a transit of the planet HD 80606 b. The group is also actively contributing to upgrading the Allegheny Observatory. In 2009, the university's Department of Geology and Planetary Science installed Western Pennsylvania's only seismic station, which is connected to IRIS Consortium networks, in the observatory. Tours: When the new Allegheny Observatory was designed it was done so with the public in mind, the floor plan included a lecture hall. When the new facility first went into operation, on every clear evening it was opened for the public to look through the 13" telescope but if it were a cloudy night "they would be given an illustrated lecture on astronomy." John Brashear once said "the Allegheny observatory would remain forever free to the people" and to this day it has although in modern times the free public tours are only offered a couple nights each week. Thaw Memorial Refractor - 30-inch refracting telescope Keeler Memorial Reflector(retired) - 30-inch Cassegrain reflector Fitz-Clark Refractor - 13-inch refracting telescope Built - 1900-1912

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