Great old-school domed observatory on top of a mountain in Voorhees State Park, with the largest telescope that is open to the public in New Jersey. Several other telescopes are located on the premises as well. Open to the public on Saturday evenings for stargazing and Sunday afternoons for solar observing, from April through October.
The heart of the telescope is the primary mirror which is 26 inches in diameter. The instrument was originally a Newtonian with a focal ratio of f/4 and has since been converted to a Cassegrain configuration. This allows for comfortable viewing from a standing position or a simple step-up if necessary.
The 26″ telescope’s mount, a modified German Equatorial, is from Indiana University, where it had been used in experimental work. Its mount is a massive iron casting, nearly seven feet high, and its foundation penetrates twenty feet underground to the mountain’s bedrock! The entire assembly weighs over four tons, and towers fifteen feet above the floor.
Chelynne Campion is a Production/ Sales Assistant for EarthSky. Her family just purchased a telescope, and she's now learning to be a stargazer!