Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Future of Peach Mountain

Since the late 1970's, the University Lowbrow Astronomers have operated a 24" Cassegrain telescope located on "Peach Mountain." Peach Mountain in turn is located within "Stinchfield Woods," property owned by the University of Michigan (UM for short).

It is unclear where the name came from. With an elevation of 315 meters (1033 feet), Peach Mountain can't compare with mountains in other parts of the country. You would be forgiven if you called it a big hill. The connection with peaches or someone named Peach is unclear.

From 1960 to 2010, the Astronomy Department at UM operated a 26 meter (85 feet) radio telescope at Peach Mountain. After 2010, the Astronomy Department ceased operations at Peach Mountain (they still have access to telescopes in Arizona and other parts of the world).

The Department of Aerospace Engineering (also at UM) is in the process of upgrading the radio telescope. When the upgrades are complete, it will be used to communicate with artificial satellites.

For information about the upgrade, see this PDF document (a handout given during a tour of the facility on September 18, 2014):

For more information about the history of Peach Mountain see:

Friday, September 12, 2014

University Lowbrow Astronomers mentioned in Sky & Telescope

Many club members are regular readers of "Sky & Telescope," a magazine with articles aimed at amateur astronomers. Look at the October issue, the club is mentioned in two places....

Page 10: Club member Jim Abshier sent an e-mail which described his radio telescope observations of quasars.

Page 69: The University Lowbrow Astronomers contributed 30 loaner telescopes to the Ann Arbor District Library. For more information on the Library's telescope loaner program, see

Correction: What was reported in Sky & Telescope wasn't correct. The Lowbrows made adjustments to a set of telescopes purchased by the Library. After the adjustments, the telescopes were made available through the telescope loaner program.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

60 foot asteroid to pass close to earth

An asteroid estimated to be about 60 foot in size is expected to pass close to the earth on Sunday.

The asteroid named 2014 RC will not hit the earth, is not bright enough to see naked eye, but should be visible in a telescope.

This is about the same size as the meteor that exploded over the city of Chelyabinsk in Russia over a year ago.

For more details...