Physics and Space Sciences

Olin Observatory and Ortega 0.8-m Telescope

Ortega Telescope, Photo by Christopher Lehmann

The crowning architectural feature of the F.W. Olin Physical Sciences Center is the dome that houses the Ortega 0.8-meter (32-inch) telescope -- one of the largest research telescopes in the Southeast. Also atop the four-story building is a custom-designed indoor-outdoor astronomical classroom, with an observing deck that can support up to 15 instructional telescopes.

Funding for the Observatory came from a Major Research Instrumentation grant from the National Science Foundation, matched by funds from Florida Tech and James and Sara Ortega. The telescope was dedicated on April 12, 2008 and now serves as the primary training and research instrument for astronomy faculty and students.

Weather permitting, each month during the academic year the public is invited to view the wonders of the night sky with the Ortega 0.8-m telescope as part of the Astronomy & Astrophysics Public Lecture Series.

Globular Cluster M5The observatory is also home to the Florida Tech Student Astronomical Society.

For additional information on the observatory and its programs contact Dr. Saida Caballero-Nieves, Observatory Director, at (321) 674-7594, or by email. Further inquiries may be directed to the Physics and Space Sciences Department at (321) 674-8795.

Photo Credits: Christopher Lehmann, Don Schumacher