Artis College of Science and Technology
- College of Business and Economics
- College of Education and Human Development
- College of Graduate Studies and Research
- Waldron College of Health and Human Services
- College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences
- Artis College of Science and Technology
- College of Visual and Performing Arts
- Other Offices and Departments
- Biology Department
- Pre-Health Advisory Committee
- GIS Center
- Museum of the Earth Sciences
- Mathematics and Statistics
- Chemistry Department
- Radford University Planetarium
- Department of Physics
- Anthropological Sciences
- Selu Observatory
- Center for Information Safety and Security
- Department of Information Technology
- Forensic Science Institute
- Geospatial Science
- MS in Data And Information Management
RCOS 14.5" Telescope
The centerpiece and workhorse of the observatory is the 14.5" RCOS telescope. In addition, there are a variety of components — some to extend its viewing capabilities, some to collect data, and some to control its various functions.
The telescope has a focal ratio of f/9, a mirror diameter of 368 mm (14.5"), and a focal length of 3315 mm (130"). Our theoretical angular resolution is 0.31 arcseconds of separation.
The magnification and field of view (FOV) depends upon the attached eyepiece.
For comparison, the angular size of the Moon is about 30 arcmin (or ½°).
Ritchey-Chrétien Telescope (RCT)
The Ritchey-Chrétien telescope (or RCT) is a specialized Cassegrain telescope designed to eliminate coma, thus providing a relatively large field of view as compared to a more conventional configuration. An RCT has a hyperbolic primary and a hyperbolic secondary mirror. It was invented in the early 1910s by American astronomer George Willis Ritchey and French astronomer Henri Chrétien.
The Ritchey-Chrétien design is free of third-order coma and spherical aberration. When focused midway between the sagittal and tangential focusing planes, stars are imaged as circles, making the RCT well suited for wide field and photographic observations. As with the other Cassegrain-configuration reflectors, the RCT has a very short optical tube assembly and compact design for a given focal length. The RCT offers good off-axis optical performance, but examples are relatively rare due to the high cost of hyperbolic primary mirror fabrication; Ritchey-Chrétien configurations are most commonly found on high-performance professional telescopes.
The 2.4m Hubble Space Telescope is an RCT.