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The Telecope

 

Our telescope was custom built by Ferson Optics in Ocean Springs, MS in 1967 for the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. It was Ferson's model 1216. The telescope was decommissioned by the Academy and donated by the U.S. Navy to the Morgan County Schools in 1993. Refurbished, repaired and upgraded with funding raised by the Morgan County Observatory Foundation it was placed back in operation at the Morgan County Observatory in December 2001. It is a unique dual Cassegrain / Newtonian scope with a switchable secondary mirror and a 16" primary mirror composed of Zerodur. It weighs approximately 3,000 pounds and has a focal length in cassegrain mode of 224 inches or an F/14 ratio. The Newtonian focus is 64 inches or F/4 ratio.

The value of the scope has been estimated at $500,000.00. The original cost of production was approximately $ 23,500 in 1967.

Ferson Optical made four 1216 telescopes. The U.S. Naval Academy received the first production run (This telescope now resides here at the Greenwood Elementary School, Berkeley Springs, Morgan County, West Virginia). Colgate University, Hamilton, NY purchased one. St. Marks Academy, Dallas, Texas purchased one - currently being restored & moved to the Dallas Astronomical Society site in southern Oklahoma. and the last at Werner Von Braun in Huntsville, Alabama - still in its dome but missing some parts & not functional, with optics said to be superb.

The location data credit to http://www.europa.com/~telscope/rfprmgng-pa.txt or text here Albert Ingalls and the Roof Prism Gang.txt

 

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View the Electrical and Mechanical Internals of 16" Telescope.

View the construction of the New Electrical Control System.

Watch a video of the telescope in Tom Collins' shop while under re-construction.

Warning - The Movie is a 3 meg Quicktime file to download



Telescope in Tom Collins' shop

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Morgan County Observatory
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Observatory (click to view larger image)


16" F/14 Cassagrain Telescope
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Observatory (click to view larger image)


The Telescope at it's new home

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Feb 9, 2008 Looking down the barrel
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Feb 9, 2008 Looking down the barrel 2
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The scope as installed at it's previous home in
The U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md.

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The Dome being installed

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This Page Last Updated - June 6, 2016

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