Research, Education, and Outreach at the Oakley Observatories
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology is a four-year college specializing in undergraduate engineering, science and mathematics education. Rose students have a strong interest in anything space-related. In the early days of the space age, Rose established a campus observatory to collect data on man-made satellites. In 2000, a new observatory was completed and named the Oakley Observatory. The new observatory was designed primarily for education and outreach, but we have successfully used it for minor planet astrometry, and photometry of minor planets and variable stars. Rose-Hulman students have discovered 33 main belt asteroids. Faculty, Rose students, and local high school students have worked together to publish more than 350 minor planet lightcurves. To supplement the campus observatory, The Oakley Southern Sky Observatory was completed in
2007 near Siding Spring in New South Wales, Australia. OSSO makes it possible to observe the southern sky,
and it has much less cloud cover, as well as, significantly darker skies than our campus. Rose-Hulman offers an area minor in astronomy and all of the astronomy courses are available to all majors as technical electives. Classes are normally filled to capacity. Finally, we also use the campus observatory for public outreach. We host scout troops, school classes and many other types of groups who want to look through a telescope. We also hold public open houses for special astronomical events such as the transit of Venus.