FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

The Aloha Telescope is still in “engineering” mode and is not ready for utilization at this time.  We anticipate that in early 2016 the telescope will begin to broadcast live views of celestial objects to the Explore page.  Initial testing with a few teachers in the Atlanta area will also begin.  Our goal is that The Aloha Telescope will be fully functional at the start of the Fall term in 2016.

 

 

What is the telescope used for?

 

The telescope gives K-12 teachers and college instructors real-time video-imagery of the Moon and a few other celestial targets.  Any teacher may reserve a time slot from the Calendar.  When viewing the Moon, the teacher will be able to move the telescope at will to any location he/she chooses.

 

 

What does it cost to use the telescope?

 

Nothing – the teacher just needs to (a) Register an account and (b) Reserve an open time slot on the Calendar.

 

 

How do I Register an Account?

 

One may either go directly to the Register an Account link or, if one tries to Reserve a Time without previously having registered, one will be re-directed to the Register an Account site.  One only needs to Register an Account once.

 

 

How do I Reserve a Time?

 

First, go to the Calendar and find an open date and time slot.  Click on that date and time slot, and answer the questions.

 

 

Will I get a Confirmation email?

 

Yes.

 

 

Who operates this facility?

 

This is a joint effort between Georgia Tech (Physics) and the US Air Force Research Lab (in Maui).

 

 

Where is The Aloha Telescope and Observatory?

 

The Aloha Telescope and Observatory are on the Hawaiian island called Maui.  They are on the grounds of the Air Force’s Supercomputing Facility (AMOS) in the town of Kihei.  [Map]

 

 

Why is the telescope on Maui?

 

(1) The initial project developed by Georgia Tech was to have the telescope in a location that would still be dark while Georgia students were in school.  Hawaii, which does not go on Daylight Savings Time, is either 5 or 6 hours behind states in the Eastern Time Zone.   (2) It is clear almost every night at this site.

 

 

What kind of telescope is used?

 

It is a Celestron 12-inch aperture telescope on a Paramount pier.  [Pictures]

 

 

What kind of dome is used?

 

The dome is a seven-foot diameter, “clam shell” dome from AstroHaven.  [Pictures, link]

 

 

Are there support documents?

 

Yes.  This website contains background information about the Moon and about its surface features as a function of each day in its orbit.  In addition there are specific observational exercises.

 

 

If I have questions, who do I contact?

  

Send an email to Dr. James Sowell  (Georgia Tech) at jim.sowell@physics.gatech.edu.