Adolphson Observatory

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Adolphson Observatory
LocationMonmouth, Illinois, U.S.
Coordinates40°54′46″N 90°38′21″W / 40.9128°N 90.6393°W / 40.9128; -90.6393Coordinates: 40°54′46″N 90°38′21″W / 40.9128°N 90.6393°W / 40.9128; -90.6393
Altitude760 ft (230 m) Edit this at Wikidata
Established2013 Edit this on Wikidata
TelescopesTrubeck Telescope Edit this on Wikidata
Adolphson Observatory is located in the United States
Adolphson Observatory
Location of Adolphson Observatory

The Adolphson Astronomical Observatory, located atop the Center for Science and Business[1] in Monmouth, Illinois, U.S., on the campus of Monmouth College, was built in 2013. Its largest telescope is the 20-inch reflecting Trubeck Telescope.[2] The observatory is used for undergraduate student education, undergraduate research including the tracking and discovery of near-earth objects, and for public awareness of science.[3][4]


The observatory was established in 2013 by a gift from David Adolphson, a retired business executive, and his wife Priscilla Trubeck Adolphson, both graduates of Monmouth College. It provides upgraded accommodations for astronomical observation to students and faculty of Monmouth College from its fourth-floor dome atop the Center for Science and Business.[5]


Donated in 2015 by William Trubeck, former Chief Financial Officer of several major corporations and a Monmouth College graduate, the Trubeck Telescope is a 20-inch (0.51 m) Corrected Dall-Kirkham Astrograph reflector telescope manufactured by Planewave Instruments.[6] Covering a 52 mm field of view, the f/6.8 optics are held by a carbon-fiber truss design and work with a large format CCD camera and computerized pointing and tracking system.[7][8] Four additional telescopes are also used by the observatory.

The Trubeck Telescope operates with a Software Bisque Paramount.[9][10] Aiming software includes TheSkyX Professional Edition software which can provide simulated star charts from 4700 BC to 10000 AD and can aim the telescope at well over 1.2 million different astronomical objects.[11] Adaptive Optics at the camera are provided by SBIG (Santa Barbara Instrument Group) AO-X hardware and software which provide increased clarity.[12]

The telescope has spectroscopy capability that allows users to learn the chemical composition, temperature, luminosity and other details of celestial objects.[13]


The observatory itself is of a Functional Moderne style. The observatory is situated approximately 40 feet above the ground atop a Neo-Georgian brick building constructed in 2013 with specific structural design features built-in to support it.


  1. ^ "Center for Science and Business – Monmouth College". monmouth college. Retrieved August 12, 2015.
  2. ^ "Monmouth College's Adolphson Observatory home to new, research-grade telescope". The Register-Mail. August 23, 2015. Retrieved October 1, 2015.
  3. ^ Patrick, Gretta (September 16, 2015). "Monmouth College Telescope Offers Research Opportunity, Community Involvement". OurQuadCities. Retrieved October 1, 2015.
  4. ^ "Monmouth College Observatory Installs High Powered Telescope – WGIL 93.7 FM & 1400 AM". August 21, 2015. Retrieved October 1, 2015.
  5. ^ "Gift from Adolphsons funds observatory atop CSB". Monmouth College. March 20, 2014. Retrieved August 11, 2015.
  6. ^ Hedrick, Richard (November 1, 2012). "The PlaneWave Instruments CDK" (PDF). PlaneWave. Retrieved August 11, 2015.
  7. ^ "Monmouth College's Adolphson Observatory home to new, research-grade telescope". The Register-Mail. Retrieved October 1, 2015.
  8. ^ "Planewave from Ian King Imaging". iankingimaging. Retrieved October 1, 2015.
  9. ^ "Bisque Paramount ME II Mount | PlaneWave Instruments". planewave. Retrieved August 11, 2015.
  10. ^ Morison, Ian (April 26, 2014). An Amateur's Guide to Observing and Imaging the Heavens. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781107619609.
  11. ^ "TheSkyX Professional and Serious Astronomer Edition User Guide – Software Bisque". bisque. Archived from the original on August 11, 2015. Retrieved August 11, 2015.
  12. ^ "AO-X". sbig astronomical instrumentation. Retrieved August 11, 2015.
  13. ^ "Monmouth College installs research-grade telescope". Daily Review Atlas. Retrieved October 1, 2015.