Tyson Observatory

Tyson is a University owned facility about 20 miles outside of town that is home to a wolf and wild bird sanctuary, biology and ecology experiments, some mysterious underground bunkers, and wildlife (deer, rattlesnakes and wild turkeys). In the middle of the heavily wooded property, we located a clearing suitable to place the observatory. The sky is visible to within 30 degrees of the horizon in all directions, and the site is quite dark with no direct light and only relatively faint light from St. Louis in the distance.

The telescope consists of a 14 inch Celestron C-14 on a Takashashi NJP mount on a stainless steel pier to be permanently installed in a Prodome PD10 fiberglass dome. The focal plane instrumentation consists of an Optek MAXFILTER 2" filter changer (to house an imaging polarimeter) an Optek TCF-S temperature compensating focuser, a FLI CFW-2 filter wheel with RGB and other filters, followed by an FLI CM7-1E CCD camera. The camera uses a Kodak blue-plus CCD and includes a high-speed USB-2 interface. An SBIG STV camera and e-finder lens is used as an autoguider.

Tyson is located in St. Louis County, approximately 20 miles southwest of St. Louis, at the Beaumont-Antire exit (Exit #269) off I-44.

Directions from the University:

  1. go south on Skinker
  2. merge onto I-64 east
  3. go for 1 mile, exit south onto Hampton Ave
  4. after about 1 mile or so, take I-44 west
  5. go to the Beaumont-Antire exit (Exit #269)
  6. turn right into the entrance of the Tyson Research Center (shortly after leaving the exit ramp)