Using and Accessing the Observatory Instruments

The club maintains two telescopes and a number of pairs of binoculars onsite at the observatory.  Except in the case of off-site public outreach events, these instruments are not to be removed from the observatory grounds without permission from an observatory chair.  Questions or problems with any of these instruments should be directed to

Member Access

Subject to qualification requirements on some instruments, Observatory Members have personal use of Observatory instruments.*  However, Regular Members may qualify to use these instruments during club events, or when an Observatory Member is present and has opened the facility. 

Qualification Requirements

Members must be qualified before using either of the two permanently mounted telescope instruments.  No qualification process is required to use the binoculars, or other portable observatory instruments.  Anyone qualified on the instrument may qualify others by walking them through use check list for each instrument stressing key points of operation set forth in the check lists.  With the permission of an Observatory Chair, experienced scope users may train themselves by watching available videos noted in the instrumental check list.  Qualified users names should be added to the Qualified Users list located in the front of the instrument’s log book.


The person who initiates use of an permanently mounted instrument shall log in and shall determine the objects to be viewed – this to enable individuals to pursue observing projects.  Views of the targeted objects, however, should be shared with those present.  If no particular program is being pursued, cooperation in selecting objects is encouraged.  Only the person who initiated use should log in.  If that person transfers to another, they should log out before their qualified replacement logs in and that person becomes responsible for shutting down.

Keys, Eyepieces, and manuals

Keys to access the observatory instruments are in the key lockbox near the clubhouse door.  Return the keys immediately after accessing the instruments so you don’t forget. Eyepieces for each instrument, are in cases on the shelf above the counter in the rear of the refractor building.  The Orion case is so labeled.  The Log book, check list and user guides should be in red folders located with the respective cases.

*Observatory members pay higher dues and must have been members for six months.  (More here)

YouTube video guides for using the Observatory Instruments