At the Bradstreet Observatory, most of our research efforts are focused on CCD photometry of Eclipsing Binary Stars. Dr. David Bradstreet has written an article entitled "Ephemerides of Variable Stars" that explores this in depth.

Current Research

Overview Of The Bradstreet Observatory

The workhorses of the Bradstreet Observatory are the twin 16-inch diameter Meade LX200 Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes, housed in 15-foot Ash Domes.  These are controlled via two Dell OptiPlex GX1p computers in the Russell Control Room.  These computers run Software Bisque's telescope control package called The Sky that allow us to point the telescope at over 526,000,000 astronomical objects.

Our other instrumentation consists of two SBIG CCD cameras (ST-10XME) which we use for both astrophotography and research.  We also have an Optec SSP-7 photometer and Optomechanics Research 10C spectrograph for use. A Daystar H-alpha solar filter and Thousand Oaks visual light solar filter have expanded the observatory's functionality to daytime observing.

The key to the Observatory's design is flexibility.  We also have two 8" Celestron 8 Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes (the original observatory workhorses) and a 150mm (6") Orion Argonaut Maksutov that we can piggy-back on the LX200 for solar observing or astrophotography.  Our resources also include adapters, filters, video cameras, and eye pieces that are integrated with our equipment setups. 

Various computer software programs are integral to the functionality of the Observatory.  We primarily use Cyanogen Production's MaxIm DL image processing software, CCDSoft, and Adobe Photoshop to handle photography.  CCD photometry data is processed using both Axiom Research's MIRA software and the NOAO IRAF packages on a Red Hat Linux workstation.  Student computer labs are equipped with CCDSoft and The Sky software for doing class work.