Sonoita Research Observatory (SRO)


Latitude and longitude: 110:37:37W, +31:39:41N

Elevation: 1525m

Site manager: John Gross

Internet access: DSL 500kbps

Weather statistics: 300 usable nights/year, 100 photometric

Typical good seasons: Spring and Fall


The Sonoita Research Observatory, MPC code G93, located in Sonoita, AZ, is dedicated to research activities. Four astronomers are involved in the activities at SRO.  Arne Henden, Director of AAVSO, Cambridge, MA.  Dirk Terrell, Senior Research Scientist, Southwest Research Institute, Boulder, CO.  Walt Cooney, Director of Blackberry Observatory, Baton Rouge, LA.  John Gross, Director of SRO, Tucson, AZ. 


Current research activities include asteroid lightcurve analysis for the Photometric Survey for Asynchronous Binary Asteroids, photometric calibration of LPV fields, long term monitoring of LPV's, photometric calibration of GRB fields, discovery of LPV's in open clusters, monitoring CV's and novas, and a color survey of W UMa stars.







Type: Folded Newtonian

Aperture: 20" (50cm)

Focal length: 200cm

F-ratio: f/4

Focuser: Clement Bellerophon II 

Filter wheel: SBIG

Camera: SBIG STL 6303


Software Bisque Paramount ME

Computer: Windows XP control, Linux

Software: The Sky, MaxIm DL, TPoint, Focus Max, ACP Observatory Control

Telecope Advocate: Richard "Doc" Kinne


Typical seeing: 2-3

Best seeing: 1.5

Tracking limit: 5 mins per unguided exposure

Vignetting: none

Scattered light: 0.03mag across field

Image defects: some image distortion due to corrector; linear astrometry fit only good to 1arcsec. some vignetting at corners


Vendor and model: SBIG STL-6303E

Detector: KAF-06303E

Filters: U, B, V, Rc, Ic, Clear

Exposure ratios/filter: 60:3:1:0.8:1 U:B:V:R:I

Exposure time: S/N=100 at V=15 in one minute

Pixel count: 3072x2048

Pixel scale: 0.9190arcsec/pix

Field of view: 47x31arcmin

Gain: 1.38e-/ADU

Readnoise: 11.21e-

Linearity (graph)

Full well: 60K ADU

Cosmetic defects:

Dark current: 0.3ADU/pix/sec at 0C

Read time: 20sec

Shortest exposure: 0.2sec

Compressed image size: 4.7MB

QE response (graph)


Typical Use of System

Wide-field deep imaging.  Nightly monitoring of targets.  Deep field calibration.

Miscellaneous Notes
Image credits: John Gross