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"Institute Plans Observatory: Students Impressed..."
The Student Observatory was completed on campus in 1942. The 12" reflector built here on campus was sheltered under a 16' dome. The observatory was even featured in the October of 1942 issue of Sky and Telescope Magazine.
Today, the reflector sits on display in the lobby of the observatory as a testament to the fine craftsmanship of Otto Rasmussen as well as the RAS members who assisted.In 1980, the General Electric company donated the Boller and Chivens 16" Cassegrain telescope currently in use. The Hirsch Observatory was expanded and dedicated to celebrate the event.
Today, the RAS is based in the Hirsch Observatory on the roof of the Jonsson Rowland Science Center. The observatory (reduced in size and scope) was moved to accommodate the construction of the George M. Lowe, Center for Industrial Innovation building. It is used by Observational Astronomy Researchers, as well as members of the Astrophysical Society in their laboratory exercises. The Physics Department, and members of the RAS also offer frequent public viewing sessions at the observatory that are well attended by the RPI and the Troy communities.