University of Minnesota

Department of Astronomy

IRLab Astronomy: Telescopes

The Department of Astronomy wholly owns two telescopes both contstructed and operated by the Minnesota Infrared Group:

Our Observatories Director is Robert D. Gehrz.

Both telescopes have their adavantages in a modern day research setting. The closer O'Brien observatory is used for instrument testing and classroom/graduate student instruction, while Mt. Lemmon is primarily used in support of observations at national facilities (Chandra, Gemini, NASA IRTF, Spitzer) and long-term temporal monitoring of transient objects (typically comets and classical novae).

Recent examples of OBO and/or MLOF in action:

  • MIRSI: a Mid-InfraRed Spectrometer and Imager, L. K. Deutsch, J. L. Hora, J. D. Adams, & M. Kassis, 2003, Proc. SPIE, 4841, 106-116. (abstract)
  • Free-Free Turnover in Nova V4743 Sgr 2002 #3, J. E. Lyke, M. S. Kelley, R. D. Gehrz, & C. E. Woodward, 2002, B.A.A.S., 201.4003. (abstract)
  • Observations of Unusually Small Dust Grains in the Coma of Comet Hale-Bopp C/1995 O1, C. G. Mason, R. D. Gehrz, T. J. Jones, C. E. Woodward, M. S. Hanner, & D. M. Williams, 2001, ApJ, 549, 635-646. (abstract)


The U of M, through a $5 million gift from Hubbard Broadcasting, Inc., has a 5% share in the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) currently under construction at the Mt. Graham International Observatory. With this purchase, the department gains access to all Steward Observatory telescopes.