The Mini-Robotic (Ralph?) Observatory (MRO) is a developmental small and inexpensive social media controlled robotic telescope that has many of the same capabilities as the Burke-Gaffney Observatory. It is completely self contained - all that is needed is wifi, a power outlet, and a clear sky!

It is presently available to use by invitation only!

Technical Specifications

Telescope TeleVue Genesis 100-mm refracting telescope (500mm f5 optics)
Mount Celestron AVX german equatorial mount
Camera ZWO ASI1600MM Pro CMOS (2328 x 1760 pixels - 2 x 2 binned)
Filter Wheel ZWO EFW (8 position, 31mm filters)
Filters CLR, LUM, RED, GRN, BLU, B, V
Focuser Pegasus Astro FocusCube2
Power Control Pegasus Astro Pocket PowerBox
USB Control Pegasus Astro USB Control Hub
Dew Control Kendrick FireFly heater
Flat Field Gerd Neumann 220mm Panel
Weather Enclosure Dog house style flip open roof (custom designed)
Cloud Sensor AAG Cloudwatcher
Computer Zotac ZBOX MiniPC - Celeron N4100 1.1GHz, 8G RAM, 120G solid-state drive

Location

Located at Abbey Ridge Observatory
Latitude:
44N 41.3' (44.6883)
Longitude: 63W 49.5' (-63.825)
Elevation: 100-metres
Time Zone: AST/ADT (UT-3 or 4 hours)

Optical Specs

Pixel Size 3.1 arc-seconds (2x2 binned)
Field of View (full size) 2.0 x 1.52 degrees
Field of View (normal size) 1.3 x 1.3 degrees

Principal Differences between the BGO and the MRO

  • The telescope, camera, and available filters are different - see the tech specs above. Note how wide the field of view is.
  • MRO supports communicating by Twitter and email (and not Facebook or SMS Text) - see the addresses below - and using the Communicator app.
  • The site is about 25km west of the BGO, but much darker.
  • The horizons are more obstructed - by trees, the adjacent ARO dome, and the owner's house. Do not expect to observe objects lower than about 30 degrees generally, or 45 degrees in the east and southeast (the BGO, by comparison, is uniformly ok to 20 degrees altitude).
  • There are some differences in default settings (exposure times, etc.)
  • Important Note: The MRO is a developmental observatory - most of the software development for new robotic telescope features for BGO and ARO are written and debugged using MRO, so it will be less reliable as a result.

Social Media Addresses 

Twitter Handle @obsmini
Email Address mrorobot at ap.smu.ca
Facebook Page not available
Text Number not available
Communicator App V0.98+

Queues, Observers, Groups and Logs

 

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