University of North Dakota Faculty/Staff Newsletter

Telescope dedication is Friday

The Department of Physics and Astrophysics will dedicate the Martens-Kraus Telescope during a free community event on Friday, IMG_0336  Nov. 1, at the Gorecki Alumni Center. The event is to celebrate their fully operational telescope, donated by Erwin Martens, and co-named for Professor Olen Kraus. The public is invited to join us for a free reception with refreshments at 3:30 p.m..

The Martens Observatory contains the Martens Kraus telescope, a 0.51 meter (20”) diameter telescope made by PlaneWave and housed in a Technical Innovations 15 ft. diameter Pro-Dome observatory. The observatory’s site in Forest River, N.D., offers very dark skies, very little light pollution, and little anticipated urban sprawl. In addition, the telescope is designed to carry out observations over the internet and be as autonomous as possible. The primary goal of the telescope is research, but will include teaching and outreach projects.

The astronomical research that is possible at the Martens Observatory will enhance UND’s capabilities and give students advanced knowledge of the operations of large telescopes. In general, telescope time is competitive on federally funded telescopes. The Martens-Kraus Telescope gives UND students an unprecedented opportunity to explore the night sky without time constraints.