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Facilities and Equipment

Astronomy is a highly technical field and significant material resources are required for achieving our mission of (1) disseminating the existing knowledge and understanding of the physical Universe to our students and to the community-at-large and (2) developing new knowledge.  As a result, faculty, staff, and students at the Department of Astrophysics & Planetary Science have access to a wide range of facilities and equipment to aid their teaching, learning, and research activities.

On-site facilities include three 14” telescopes and one 20” telescope, housed in two separate Mendel Science Center observatories, as well as numerous smaller portable telescopes.  The telescopes are equipped for visual observing, as well as the acquisition of professional-grade imaging, photometric, and spectroscopic data.  Additional resources include a weather station, high speed computing facilities for astrophysical modeling and data processing/analysis, and the Edward F. Jenkins, O.S.A. Memorial Astronomy Library with subscriptions to the major astronomical journals.

Off-site facilities include access to the 50” Robotically-Controlled Telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory, via Villanova’s membership in the RCT Consortium.  In addition, students regularly have access to new data from the NOAO observatories, the Hubble Space Telescope, the Chandra X-ray Observatory, and other national/international facilities via faculty research programs.