Prerequisite requirements for students taking observatory training
- Must be at least 16 years of age or older.
- Must be a Society member in good standing with all dues paid.
- Have full knowledge of all general site rules and have completed the general site orientation.
- Must have been a Society member for at least 6 months.
- Must have knowledge of basic telescope functionality and procedures and have a working understanding of equatorially mounted astronomical telescopes. It is also recommended, though not required, that users be familiar with using TheSkyX.
- Will be required to execute an observatory building use agreement which is a contract of limited liability covering all rules, regulations, and requirements governing the use of observatory building facilities. Members under 18 years of age must have a parent or guardian execute the agreement on behalf of a minor user that is 16 or 17 years of age.
Training covers opening and closing the observatory, operating the 12.5” f/5 and C14 telescopes, and securing the building in case of emergency. Incidentally, you must take this general observatory training before you can register for training on the 12” Ritchey-Chrétien imaging telescope, aka “Bob’s Dream.”
Training also covers the topics below with a break for dinner. Actual start times vary through the year, but in general, training starts at 2pm CST or at 4pm CDT. Before sundown students will reconvene to demonstrate competence in these areas:
- Understanding the burden of responsibility for the facility
- Documenting "as found condition” and “as left condition" of the observatory
- Proper use of startup and shutdown of the telescopes
- Use of emergency procedures