Professor Robert Stencel, Director



1. This document reflects continuing discussions between the Denver Astronomical
Society, represented by its President, and the University of Denver Astronomy 
program, represented by the Director of Chamberlin Observatory. 

2. This document intends to identify points of agreement in the current
debate over the future of the Clark 20 inch aperture refractor, and to chart
a mutually agreeable course of action to take advantage of opportunities that
become available.

Both parties agree that:

	(1) Chamberlin Observatory is a special place that deserves protection, 
and that its MISSION AND PURPOSE should include continued use for astronomical 
instruction, outreach and some level of research; 

	(2) the Clark-Saegmuller telescope is an antique worthy of preservation 
in some form, but that in its current condition, it does not completely meet 
the needs of the observatory mission when compared with newer technology.

THEREFORE both parties agree to continue discussions over the coming months, 
in order to identify mutual interests and the resources needed to optimize 
the mission of Chamberlin Observatory for at least the next quarter century. 

(2) RESTORE the Clark-Saegmuller to original form and function, in its pre-
electrical state;
(3) REBUILD the Clark optics into a modern mount arrangement;
(4) REPLACE the Clark-Saegmuller with a completely new, large telescope, and 
placing the antique where it can be suitably housed, admired and/or used.


1. This alternative is rejected if the intent to improve on the quality of 
astronomical instruction and outreach is a mutual priority.

2. We agree that full restoration of the Clark would limit its usefulness for 
astronomy, making it increasingly difficult to use and maintain, resulting  
the steady decline of the MISSION of Chamberlin Observatory, turning it into a 
museum with little active astronomy.  This is not in the best interests of 
either party.

3. REBUILD -- Some of the needed work to improve the functionality of the 
exisiting 20 inch telescope includes:
  a. VISUAL IMAGE QUALITIES: chromatic aberration, astigmatism, low contrast -- 
For example: can we improve the optics by baffling and optically black coating 
the interior of the current tube assembly to increase contrast; check and 
improve the optics by looking at the spacing and orientation of the lens 
system to increase the effectiveness from the current suspected 1/4-1/2 wave.
  b. POINTING AND TRACKING: Reconstruct the mount to permit dual manual and 
computer controls for pointing, tracking and guiding.
  c. FOCAL PLANE: The present limited area makes modern camera use difficult, 
and inefficent for mounting and remounting.  Rebuilding the focus end with 
adequate carrying capacity for CCDs and electrical service is desired.
  d. SAFETY: The vertical ladder poses an increasingly serious safety hazard 
and needs remediation.
  e. METAL FATIGUE: There is some evidence for mechanical failure of nuts and
bolts that hold the old scope together -- this needs proper inspection.

Additionally, in the words of one DAS Public Night operator:
"improvements for the Clark 20" would include:

     Optical performance, including adding baffles and flocking the inside
     of the tube.
     Easier to use setting circles.  Some of the older guys have trouble
     even seeing the dec. scale through the periscope.  Ideally we would
     want something accurate enough to find objects without using the RA
     sweep method.
     Slow motion controls - mechanical repair to aid usability.  If
     possible, an electric slow motion in RA that would speed up or slow
     down the drive motor."

4. REPLACEMENT of the existing telescope with the proposed 36 inch reflector 
(upgradeable to 50 inches) would address all points enumerated under commentary 
for alternative 2, plus provide superior light gathering power, etc.  Note: 
this assumes sufficient funds and neighborhood agreement to build a north wing 
and second dome are beyond practicality at present.

	Approximately $250,000 in repairs have been identified ifor Chamberlin
Observatory in the Colorado State Historical Society mandated "Preservation 
Master Plan" of 1998.  These include problems with electrical wiring, plumbing, 
heating system, floor damage related to the heating system, serious wood rot 
on nearly all the exterior window frames, plaster failures, inadequate fire 
and security alarm system, etc., as well as strategies for Americans with 
Disability Act (ADA) accommodations, which we agree are important.  
Therefore, it is a priority to complete the preservation master plan to improve the 
building's condition.  

	Beyond the preservation master plan, there is the mutual desire to 
expand the building for the purposes of ADA, an improved meeting space 
("digital classroom"), to provide decent restrooms and storage, etc. should
such an opportunity arise and be fundable.

(Time is money; education and outreach opportunities are being lost)

	The DAS agrees to:
	A. tbd
	DU agrees to: 
	A. Work with suitable partners to complete the Preservation Master Plan.      

(end) draft revision 2, 3/17/2000

As originally proposed, December 1999:
The University of Denver seeks and welcomes constructive input from its neighbors and the Denver Astronomical Society. To that end, we are presenting some long-term goals for DU's historic Chamberlin Observatory, to stimulate discussion.

Here are proposed goals for the coming years:

(a) restore the Clark-Saegmuller refractor to its historically accurate condition, and continue public outreach programs with DAS collaboration;

(b) address code and ADA problems with the building, per the preservation master plan developed in conjuction with a building preservation grant from state historical society;

(c) recapture the research and training component for which Chamberlin was intended, but has lost due to antiquated equipment and infrastructure. This latter goal can be achieved by adding a modern telescope, and taking advantage of digital communications.

A remarkable convergence of opportunities suggests it may be possible to improve the main telescope at Chamberlin, add new classroom space and handicapped access, plus insure that the Clark refractor is suitably preserved for the future. These steps will improve the training of students by DU, and the quality of public outreach by DAS, and thereby help astronomy in Denver thrive well into the new millennium. Please join with us in making good things happen.
Please direct questions/comments to Prof.Stencel
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