Montgomery Bell Academy’s Observatory on Long Mountain outside McMinnville, TN was completed in 2011. The facility is located at an altitude of 1,800 feet in an area of low light pollution. The facility has been used to confirm several exoplanets as part of the KELT exoplanet transit search program and has been accepted as a member of NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) Follow-up Observing Program.
A complete re-commissioning of the facility and its equipment was undertaken in early 2022. The observatory is equipped with a 0.6-meter PlaneWave CDK 24 telescope on a PlaneWave Ascension 200HR mount, inside a 5-meter ObservaDome. The primary imaging system is an SBIG AC4040 scientific grade CMOS camera with tertiary adaptive optics. The instrument has L/R/G/B filters for visible light imaging, Ha/SII/OIII filters for narrowband imaging, and Sloan g’/r’/i’/z’ photometric filters for time series differential photometry. The observatory is capable of fully remote operation, with a variety of internal and external weather and sky condition sensors.