Tamke-Allan Observatory's Instrumentation
Roane State Community College dedicated the Tamke-Allan Observatory and Environmental Center on July 30, 1998. This facility that includes a state-of-the-art classroom with a photographic darkroom, and the dome containing the primary instrument of the observatory- an eight-inch refractor. This refractor rests upon a modern, computer-driven German equatorial mount. The telescope is housed in a 12-foot Ash dome and can be computer-controlled. The facility is located high atop Schweinler Mountain, some 1,100 feet above sea level and 400 feet above Watts Bar Lake. Although the observatory is only 25 miles west from the City of Knoxville, light pollution is at a minimium. The Milky Way is obvious and many meteor showers can be seen from this location. The facility is used for research, class instruction, and for public stargazes.
The second major instrument is a classical Celestron 8 Schmidt-Cassegrain reflecting telescope. The telescope is used in the open on an isolated pier with an unobstructed view of the sky. This instrument is used for class instruction, research, and public stargazes.
The third major instrument is a 1960's era, 4-inch Unitron refractor. The primary use of this excellent instrument is for class instruction and public stargazes.
The observatory owns or has access to two Optec photoelectric photometers, a Olympus planetary camera, and a Santa Barbara ST-237 CCD. The observatory also is installing a 6-foot radio telescope with controls inside the classroom.