The Observatory currently houses two telescopes. The primary telescope is the 14-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain, which is directly connected to the equatorial mount. An 85 mm refracting telescope and a small spotter scope are piggy-backed onto the 14-inch reflecting telescope.
The Observatory houses a pentium computer, a CCD camera and two 35mm cameras for astrophotography. The telescopes are computer (go-to) operated.
Anyone interested in operating the telescopes is encouraged to submit a project proposal to the Observatory Manager.
NIU also uses a "mobile" telescope which can be transported to dark areas for public events. The telescope was constructed by our former DHO manager, Laura Layton, from the leftover 16" mirror from the original Davis Hall telescope. It uses a Dobsonian mount which can be transported in the back of a SUV. Since 2005, the NIU Mobile Telescope has made appearances at schools and public observing events in Illinois, Wisconsin, Virginia, and Maryland. On October 7, 2009, the Mobile Telescope visited the White House for an event hosted by the First Family and attended by area students.