The Big Springs Ranch for Children is home to the Brinton-Franklin observatory. The telescope in the observatory was a gift to the Big Springs Ranch for Children and was given in memory of Henry Brinton. The late Henry Brinton was the director of Nasa's research division and planetary science program.
The Dome to house the telescope was a gift from Mr. Will Franklin and his wife Liz.The Franklin family also donated the funds to build the road and other parts of the observatory infrastructure. When fully operational, the observatory will have full remote capabilities. The dome and telescopes can be remotely operated from the science classroom at the Ed Brune Charter School. In addition, the dome can be used by scientists by remote access through the schools server. The telescope will also have state of the art imaging capabilities. A second donated tube is currently piggy backed on the Meade tube. It is a Tele-Vue NP101. The purpose of the second tube is to allow viewing while the Meade tube is capturing images. The machinery and technologies necessary to remotely operate the telescope were a gift from Frost Bank through the Myra Stafford Pryor Charitable Trust.
According to NASA astronomer Brad Perry who helped set up the instruments and electronics, The observatory will be a part of a NASA network available for use by their scientists as well as cooperating astronomers around the world. The priority however will belong to the students of the Ed Brune, and Cailloux Charter Schools.
Nagler-Petzval 101 Tele Vue
Astro-Physics 1200 German Equatorial Mount with GTO-CP3 servo motor drive drive
Pro-Dome 10 observatory with automatic shutter and cloud sensor
SBIG ST-10XME dual sensor self guiding CCD camera
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