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The UTSI Observatory is a new addition to the campus. It is equipped with a Coronado SolarMax II 60mm refractor telescope for views of the Sun. The SolarMax is mounted on top of a Celestron 14″ EdgeHD Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope that is used to obtain high-resolution views of the planets. In addition, the “C14” can utilize a Hyperstar adapter to increase the field of view in order to image large nebulae. These scopes are mounted on an iOptron CEM120EC mount that provides excellent tracking capabilities to enable long exposures without the worry of stars streaking across the field of view. On clear nights, we are able to host small “star-parties” with an external TV screen for viewing of images that are currently being taken and also set up a second 8″ Celestron SCT for visual views of bright objects. On clear days, we have the ability to stream a “live” view of the sun to our website (updated every 15-30 minutes).

The University of Tennessee Space Institute (UTSI) is a graduate education and research institution located in Middle Tennessee adjacent to the U. S. Air Force Arnold Engineering Development Complex. UTSI was established in 1964 as part of The University of Tennessee and has become an internationally recognized institution for graduate study and research in engineering, physics, mathematics, and aviation systems and has made remarkable contributions at the local, state, national, and global levels.

In accordance with its mission, UTSI supports the Arnold Engineering Development Center (AEDC) in maintaining “state of the art” expertise in both technical and managerial ranks. About 500 AEDC employees have earned graduate degrees at the Institute, including 40 doctorates. In addition, thousands have participated in the continuing education programs offered by UTSI. The faculty and students have worked on a variety of research and technology development projects with AEDC personnel. It has been acknowledged often by the leadership at AEDC that the educational support of UTSI is critical to AEDC in fulfilling its national mission for the Department of DefenseNASA, and the aerospace industry.

Over 2000 graduate degrees — including more than 250 doctorates — have been awarded through UTSI, a large number of them to Tennesseans. For years, UTSI has served Tennessee industry by offering an off campus master of science (MS) degree program in Engineering Management (Industrial Engineering) at industrial locations. We have many distinguished alumni, several of whom have achieved national fame as astronauts, company presidents, chief scientists, engineering managers and renowned scholars and scientists. Many of our alumni occupy high-level positions in industry, government, and universities not only in the United States but in other countries as well.

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Students earning graduate degrees and certificates in disciplines offered by the University of Tennessee Space Institute are graduates of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, which has been continuously accredited by SACSCOC since 1897 and is authorized to award baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.