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Physics department


David Rittenhouse Laboratory


The campus observatory is located on the roof of the David Rittenhouse Laboratory, which is at the corner of 33rd St. and Walnut St. in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Driving directions to David Rittenhouse Laboratory are here; directions up to the observatory are here. Our major pieces of equipment are a 10" diameter f/10 Meade reflector, a 10" diameter f/6.3 Meade reflector and an 8" Celestron reflector. We also have binoculars for general viewing, including one large 20x125 pair.

The observatory is geared towards teaching basic astronomy. Although we suffer from light pollution and restricted views in many directions it is possible to measure such things as the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram that shows the relationship between the luminosity and colour of stars. When it is not in use arrangements can be made for organised groups to visit. In 2009 we took part in the "No night without a telescope" program, an event to celebrate the International Year of Astronomy which marked the 400th anniversary of Galileo's first observations.

If you have questions about the observatory please contact Simon Dicker: sdicker -at- physics -dot- upenn -dot- edu