THE OBSERVATORY

The Banner Creek Science Center features a state-of-the-art observatory. Our dark sky conditions in rural Northeast Kansas offer an incredible view of the Milky Way. Attend one of our many observation events held throughout the year to check it out — come for the stars, stay for the science! The images in the slideshow below were taken with the 24 inch CDK Planewave telescope.

Planewave 24 inch telescope
Planewave 24 inch telescope

The Planewave 24-inch telescope with SBIG STX-16803 camera! Delivered and installed September, 2018.

Messier 33
Messier 33

This is a galaxy in the constellation of Triangulum. It is approximately 3 million light-years in distance.

Veil Nebula-Eastern Part
Veil Nebula-Eastern Part

Because the Veil Nebula keeps expanding, this is another part of that same supernova remnant!!

Planewave 24 inch telescope
Planewave 24 inch telescope

The Planewave 24-inch telescope with SBIG STX-16803 camera! Delivered and installed September, 2018.

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Observatory Remote Operations

Are you a student, post-grad, or professional working on research projects in Astronomy? Or are you an aspiring amateur astronomer who would like to experience CCD imaging? Then we encourage you to schedule remote imaging at BCSCO.

The Banner Creek Observatory contains a fully automated and remote-controlled telescope—a 24-inch Planewave CKD telescope on L-600 mount.  The telescope is equipped with a digital CCD camera supplied by Santa Barbara Instrument Groups—model STX-16803 with a 16 megapixel, 9 micron CCD chip. The camera is equipped with an internal filter wheel with  LRGBHa filters for research. The telescope, camera, and observatory dome are controlled and synchronized by Astronomers Control Panel (ACP) software, written and engineered by Bob Denny.

Anyone submitting imaging jobs to the observatory must have a strong working knowledge of ACP Planner (job scripting), The Sky Professional, CCD Soft, and MaxIm DL software packages. All images will be created in FITS format, which can later be reformatted to JPG using another program.  Click here to learn more about the ACP Planner software, and to download a free copy. Jackson County student astronomers, please submit imaging jobs to the Observatory Director Mike Ford. For all other astronomers, Imaging Tickets are required. To obtain permission for the Telescope Remote Control Program, contact us.

Find the Clear Sky Chart for Banner Creek Science Center and Observatory below. For more information, visit cleardarksky.com.