FIU is a member of the Southeastern Association for Research in Astronomy (SARA) (http://www.astro.fit.edu/sara/sara.html), a consortium of ten universities in the southeastern United States whose faculty, staff and students are actively engaged in astronomical research and the promotion and development of astronomy. SARA operates a 0.9-meter telescope located at Kitt Peak National Observatory near Tucson, Arizona, and a 0.6-meter telescope at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile. The telescopes, which can be operated on-site or remotely from any of the participating SARA member institution, are equipped with CCD detectors, and soon will have low resolution spectrographs for observing in the visible part of the spectrum. FIU is granted approximately 1/10 of the annual observing time allotted for each of the telescopes.
For teaching purposes we have nine Celestron Classic 20-cm Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes which are compact and perfect for lunar and planetary observing. We also have a 30-cm Meade LX-200 Schmidt-Cassegrain and a Celestron 28-cm computerized telescopes which are used for both undergraduate research and public events.
We are in the process of building a new on-campus observatory, the Stocker AstroScience Center, which will house a lab room, astronomy offices, student work space, computer rooms for accessing the SARA telescopes, and a rooftop observing pad with piers for the portable telescopes and a dome which will house a 60-cm automated telescope. The expected completion date for construction is late 2011. For more information visit http://www.fiu.edu/~webbj/fiuobs.html.