The Perkins Telescope

The Perkins Telescope Observatory is an astronomical observatory located at Anderson Mesa Station, Arizona, a dark sky site roughly 14 miles south of the City of Flagstaff.  Boston University owns and operates the Observatory, which includes the 1.83-meter-diameter Perkins Telescope and its associated facility instruments, Mimir and PRISM.  On-going research projects include a search for planets orbiting brown dwarfs, long-term monitoring of active galactic nuclei, asteroseismology of white dwarf stars, mapping the magnetic field structure of the Milky Way, and observations of the extended atmospheres of planets in our Solar System.  The observatory is also used for undergraduate and graduate courses, including AS 441 (Observational Astronomy) and AS 709 (Observational Techniques).

The Perkins Telescope has a rich history of scientific discovery.  Originally built in Ohio by Ohio Wesleyan University, the telescope was moved to Arizona in 1961, where it was operated by Lowell Observatory.  In the 1960s and 70s, it was used by Dr. Vera Rubin and Dr. Kent Ford in their ground-breaking work on the properties of dark matter.  In 1998, Boston University entered into a partnership with Lowell Observatory to operate the telescope, and in 2019 BU became the sole owner and operator.

Boston University is actively seeking partners to operate the telescope.  Please contact Prof. Phil Muirhead for information.