Cahill Rooftop Observatory

Equipment Database - Celestron 14-inch

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Celestron 14-inch
Optical SystemSchmidt-Cassegrain
Mount TypeEquatorial, 2-axis drive
Aperture 14"
Focal Length3910 mm
Rear Cell2.0"
Max FOV44.7'
Finder10×70 mm
Finder FOV4.7°

This telescope may only be used from the Cahill rooftop.

Formerly located in the Robinson dome, the 14-inch is our largest telescope, designed to support student observing. Aside from setup and eyepiece changes, the C-14 can be controlled entirely by computer, and it is the most common telescope to use for CCD observing. While the best choice for class projects, it's also a very good telescope for general stargazing.

The 14-inch has the aperture to observe most deep-sky objects, including star clusters, nebulae, and bright galaxies. It also has the magnification and/or aperture to observe all the planets from Venus to Neptune (Mercury is never visible from the C-14's location, even at sunset.) The C-14 is not well-suited for the Moon or large clusters, since users will have to remove part of the diagonal to get fields of view wider than 25 arcminutes. Wide-field observers may want to consider the C-8 instead.

The C-14 uses a fully computerized Astro-Physics mount. The C-14 is currently polar aligned to within 6 arcminutes, and we are working to get more precise measurements to further refine the alignment. GO-TO pointing accuracy scales approximately with the slew distance; worst-case performance is roughly 20 arcminutes for full-sky slews. We expect to improve this performance by at least a factor of two in the future. Once pointed the C-14 gives very good images for a Schmidt-Cassegrain, enough to clearly identify planetary features if the seeing is good.