Dame Kathleen Ollerenshaw Observatory
The observatory and associated teaching laboratory, formally opened by Sir Patrick Moore on 20th May 2002, is named after Dame Kathleen Ollerenshaw. Dame Kathleen generously donated the original Celestron 11" telescope. She is a former Pro-Chancellor of the University, Lord Mayor of Manchester, outstanding mathematician and a keen amateur astronomer.
The dome was designed and built by Dr Glynn Marsh, a prominent local amateur astronomer. Situated on the roof of the Physics Department, the observatory has excellent views of most of the sky. The observatory is dedicated to the teaching of observational astronomy to undergraduate students as part of our MPhys degree scheme in Physics, Astrophysics and Cosmology. The observatory was first used in 2001 with the MPhys students investigating its capabilities. The prime use at this stage was CCD imaging. Since then, MPhys students have carried out more quantitative investigations into sunspots, high and low resolution spectroscopy, and calibration of the system sensitivity.
The optical system consists of Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope with an aperture of 11" (297mm) with a resolution of 0.41 arcseconds and a limiting visual magnitude of 14.7, although in practice the local conditions ("seeing") somewhat degrade this performance. The detectors consist of two CCD cameras and a filter wheel suitable for RGB imaging and BVRI photometry. We also have a self-guiding spectrograph for spectroscopic work.