starphysics observatory

Automated Broadband & Spectroscopic Polarimetry


Welcome to Starphysics Observatory, the field test site of the new Optec Perseus Instrument Selector and the dual beam imaging polarimeters being used in the ongoing Epsilon Aurigae campaign.

While Reno has its share of local light pollution and turbulent air coming over the Sierra's, it also has months and months of clear skies and cool, dry evenings. From my home we have about 5.5 mag skies to the south and 3.5 to the North. Observing season begins in May and goes to November. Usually we get a couple good weeks in late January or early February, and then clouds and wind until May.

I am also involved with the Jack C. Davis Observatory at Western Nevada Community College located in Carson City about 20 miles south. This is an amazing facility built with the contributions of the people in Carson City. For several years I taught a short course to for physics students called "Spectroscopy and the Birth of Astrophysics".

Unless otherwise noted, spectral images and data files may be downloaded and used for non-commercial and educational purposes.  Acknowledgment, of course, is always appreciated.





Reno, NV

Latitude 39.400379 Longitude 119.7957

Altitude 5194ft


It's no secret that computer controlled instrumentation is at the heart of modern astronomy.

The automated observing system which I have been constructing since 2007 enables the time series measurement of photometric brightness in the UBVRIJ&H bands, low and medium resolution spectra, broadband and spectrally resolved polarization for bright stars.

I am a member of the AAVSO, the Society for Astronomical Sciences, the American Astronomical Society, and the Royal Astronomical Society.

If you have questions about this site, email me at