Armed with a research grade observatory, Dickinson students have the ability to perform astronomical research on campus. The Michael L. Britton Memorial Observatory consists of a 24-inch telescope with a CCD camera. The image below of the whirlpool galaxy (M51a/NGC 5194) was taken with the Britton observatory. The CCD comes equipped with UBVRI filters and is used for imaging and multi-color photometry of variable stars and asteroids. Dickinson students also have access to Lowell Observatory's 31-inch telescope through the National Undergraduate Research Observatory (NURO) Consortium, of which Dickinson is a charter member. Located near Flagstaff, Arizona, the Lowell 31-inch is equipped with a large format CCD camera.
The Department of Physics and Astronomy is also home to the Charles M. Kanev Planetarium. Initerested students can be trained to give planetarium shows for the public.