Three College Observatory

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Three College Observatory
Three College Observatory.jpg
Three College Observatory near Snow Camp, NC
Organization UNCG, N.C. A&T, GC
Locationnear Graham, North Carolina
Coordinates 35°56′42″N79°24′24″W / 35.9449°N 79.4068°W / 35.9449; -79.4068 Coordinates: 35°56′42″N79°24′24″W / 35.9449°N 79.4068°W / 35.9449; -79.4068
Altitude183 meters (600 ft)
Established1979 (1979)
Website Three College Observatory
Three College Observatory Telescope0.81 m reflector
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Location of Three College Observatory

Three College Observatory (TCO) is an astronomical observatory owned and operated by The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG), North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (N.C. A&T), and Guilford College (GC). Built in 1979, it is located 10 kilometers (6 mi) south of Graham, North Carolina (USA), in the Cane Creek Mountains. The observatory, designed by W. Edward Jenkins, was funded with a $250,000 grant, however, it would cost $1.5 million to replace it today. [1] [2] The observatory's primary instrument is a 32 in (81 cm) Ritchey-Chrétien reflecting telescope attached to an equatorial mount. It was built by Sigma Research and installed at TCO in 1981. [2] TCO is used by UNCG for instruction and outreach. It continues to be the largest telescope in North Carolina and ones of the largest telescopes in the southeast. [1]


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  1. 1 2 Johnson, Anna (November 2, 2014). "Exploring the night sky: Three College Observatory is one of Alamance County's hidden treasures". The Times News. Retrieved April 8, 2020.
  2. 1 2 "Three College Observatory Telescope". The University of North Carolina at Greensboro Department of Physics and Astronomy. Archived from the original on 2010-05-03. Retrieved 2010-01-11.