The Warner and Swasey Observatory is the astronomical observatory of Case Western Reserve University. Named after Worcester R. Warner and Ambrose Swasey, who built it at the beginning of the 20th century, it was initially located on Taylor Road in East Cleveland, Ohio, USA.The observatory, which at that time housed a 9.5-inch (24 cm) refractor, was donated in 1919 to the Case School of Applied Science. The newer 24-inch (61 cm) Burrell Schmidt telescope was built in 1939.
Due to rising light pollution in Cleveland, a new station in Geauga County's Montville Township was established in 1950s. Named after Jason John Nassau, the station initially housed the Burrell telescope, which was later moved to Kitt Peak National Observatory. Instead of Burrell the station was equipped with the 36-inch robotic telescope. In 2008 Nassau Station was sold to the Geauga Park District.The observatory currently operates the old 9.5-inch refractor (now known as the rooftop telescope) at the university's University Circle campus, and the Burrell Schmidt telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona. The old site on Taylor Road was sold in 1983.
Burrell Schmidt Telescope:
The 24-inch Burrell Schmidt Telescope was originally built in 1939 by Warner & Swasey Company of Cleveland, Ohio and was housed at the Taylor Road facility.It is currently housed at Kitt Peak National Observatory near Tucson, Arizona. The telescope recently had its optics upgraded with a very wide field of view CCD array, which is much more sensitive than the photographic plates. It is the instrument used today by the Case astronomers.
Nassau Station Robotic Observatory:
The Nassau Station, originally constructed in the 1950s, currently houses a 36-inch reflecting telescope. It is named after observatory director Jason John Nassau, who was a prominent astronomer at the time.Work was carried out in the 1990s to make the telescope capable of remote viewing, making it one of the first telescopes to be used in this manner.However, it was seldom used by Case astronomers due to increased light pollution from Cleveland and the enhanced capabilities of the Burrell Schmidt.
The Rooftop Telescope is a 9.5-inch refractor that was originally constructed in 1894 by Warner and Swasey for their own use.The telescope was the first instrument of the Warner and Swasey Observatory and was originally used at the Taylor Road facility, but was put into storage when the Astronomy Department of Case Western Reserve University was relocated to the A. W. Smith building on the main campus. In 1986 the telescope was reinstalled in a new dome on the roof of the A. W. Smith building.