Welcome to the Iowa Robotic Observatory website. The University of Iowa  Department of Physics and Astronomy maintains these pages as a guide to the Iowa robotic telesope located at the Winer Observatory in southern Arizona. The telescope consists of a 0.51 m Cassegrain reflector (Planewave CDK-20), an Andor IKON L-936 back-illuminated CCD camera and a twelve position filter wheel. In addition, there is a low-resolution (R = 300) grism spectrometer and a medium resolution (R = 7,000) reflection grating spectrometer currently under development. The telescope is scheduled and operated remotely from the University of Iowa in Iowa City using custom telescope scheduling software. The IRO is used by students and faculty at the University of Iowa for astronomical laboratories and research.

Astronomy courses which use these facilities include the introductory non-major survey courses Solar System Astronomy and  Stars, Galaxies, and the Universe, the major-level course General Astronomy, and the upper-level course Astronomical Laboratory.

The system was upgraded in May 2015 with funds by the Carver Trust.  The new telescope, called Gemini, replaces the venerable Rigel telescope which operated from 2002-2015. The Gemini telescope is larger and has a much more sensitivty camera, resulting in significantly higher sensitivity (peak QE 95%). 

The image below, of the spiral galaxy NGC 253, was taken by undergraduate student Chris Michael on November 3, 2018. It was created using spearate R,G,B images and animated using the clever Zeotropic animation app.

Feel free to explore the site and learn about our facility or contact us at email: webmaster.iro AT gmail.com (replace AT with @).

Copyright 2018 University of Iowa