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), high QE back-illuminated CCD camera (Andor CG42) and a twelve position filter wheel. In addition, there is a low-resolution (R = 300) grism spectrometer and a medium resolution (R = 7,000) echelle spectrometer. 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 recently upgraded 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 signifucantly more sensitivity, as illlustrated in the beautiful tri-color image of the emission nebula NGC 6888 below.
Feel free to explore the site and learn about our facility or contact us at email: webmaster.iro AT gmail.com (replace AT with @).