Welcome to Winer Observatory
The Irvin Marvin Winer Memorial Mobile Observatory, Inc. (Winer Observatory) was incorporated in 1983 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit public charity to perform basic research in astronomy, provide educational outreach programs, and provide site and maintenance services for small telescopes through cooperative agreements with other astronomical institutions.
The observatory is named after Irvin M. Winer, a physics professor whom our Director, Mark Trueblood, met in graduate school. Irv made such an impression on our Director that he named the observatory after Irv to keep alive the memory of his friend and mentor. It was Irv's and Mark's friend Andrew J. Tomer who suggested the name.
The "Mobile" in our official corporate name originates from our early interest in observing asteroid occultations, which requires the observer to travel to a particular remote location to make the observation. For more information, visit the science section of this Web site.
The picture at the top left of this page is of our facility near Sonoita, Arizona, approximately 50 miles southeast of Tucson, Arizona. It shows the roof rolled back to the left (north) over the shop part of the building (compare this photo with the aerial photo on the Site page). The observatory houses many telescopes including:
- The Planewave 20-inch (0.5-meter) telescope owned by the University of Iowa used primarily for undergraduate student labs
- The Kilodegree Extremely Little Telescope also known as KELT, owned by The Ohio State University
- The 20-inch telescope known as DEMONEX, owned by The Ohio State University
- A lunar coronagraph in support of the LADEE mission operated by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
- A 28" PlaneWave CDK700 and a fiber-fed cross-dispersed Echelle spectrograph owned by The Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland
We have room for a total of six telescopes of up to one meter in aperture on a 20-acre site. Our dark skies and dry weather make the site well-suited to astronomy. Nearby are several professional observatories, including Kitt Peak National Observatory and the MMT Observatory (MMTO is only about 20 miles away). Several amateur astronomers have made Sonoita the home for their observatories as well, including James McGaha and Dr. Tim Hunter of Grasslands Observatory, Mike Shade of Sonoita Hills Observatory, John Gross, and several others.
All Sky Camera
As a service to our customers, we are providing access to an All Sky Camera consisting of a Nikkon 8mm f/2.8 fisheye lens and an Apogee U3041-HC camera using a 2048 x 2048 x 15 um Fairchild Imaging CCD 3041 frontside illuminated CCD detector with a maximum quantum efficiency exceeding 40% between 630nm and 850 nm.
You can also download:
- A small video clip of the All Sky Camera (320kB).
- A larger video clip of the All Sky Camera (3992kB).
Click the image on the right to obtain the latest full-sized image. We invite not only our customers, but the general community to download images from time to time to see pictures of the weather above our site. Students may wish to check images for meteors or other astronomical phenomena of interest. We plan to add a filter wheel and color filters, funding for which was generously provided by the Fred W. Stang Foundation.
Jason Eastman, then of Ohio State University (now the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics) created the software to see yesterday's telescope movement at night. You can edit the URL and replace 20150726 with a date (in format YYYYMMDD) of your choice.
Page last updated on: June 5, 2015