Tenagra Observatories, Ltd.

Ad astra per aspera.  Never give up;  never surrender.



SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT!  STARTING September 15, 2014 (and the end of the Arizona monsoon) Tenagra will be lowering it's price from $200 per observing  hour to $95 per hour.  This great reduction in price will apply to new users between September 15, 2014 to January 1, 2015.  Contact us before our schedule is full!


NEW! Free Moving Object Detection Service Is Now Available.
(click here for details)

Welcome to the Tenagra Observatories Website.  We invented internet based science imaging in 2001.






This website contains an overview of the kind of work done at Tenagra and the telescopes we have available for outside use.  We welcome your suggestions and comments.


What do NOAO, Caltech, New Mexico State, U. of Hawaii, U. of N. Carolina, Columbia U., Rice U. and Las Cumbres Observatories and many others have in common?  They are all current or previous users of Tenagra telescopes.


"We had a couple of new Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) that we needed to recover but we were worried they might be discovered by someone else first.  So we asked Michael Schwartz, who operates the Tenagra 32" telescope, if he might be able to image them ... We were sent e-mails containing astrometry and photometry of our objects the night after we requested observations , and our data were placed on the Tenagra FTP server shortly after the images were collected.  Tenagra was responsive and our science was treated with confidentiality ..." -- Professor Chad Trujillo, Discoverer of Quaoar, California Institute of Technology.


Research on Tenagra Telescopes


The SAO/NASA ADS Astronomy Abstract Service lists over 1,000 publications based on data taken on Tenagra Observatories' telescopes.  Some examples:


"Discovery of Variable Stars in the Field of the Galactic Open Cluster NGC 7039", Hu, Juei-Hwa; Chen, H.; Chen, Y.; Chang, D.; Lin, H.; Chen, W.; Ngeow, C.; Ip, W.

"Lightcurves, Models and Magnetic Activity for a Range of Close Binaries", Lister, Tim

"TAOS Project: Searching for Variable Stars in the Selected TAOS Fields and Optical Followup Observations", Ngeow, Chow Choong; Chang, D.; Pan, K.; Chung, T.; Koptelova, E.; TAOS Collaboration

"The Lick AGN Monitoring Project: Photometric Light Curves and Optical Variability Characteristics", Walsh, Jonelle L.; Minezaki, Takeo et al.

"A Possible High Nova Rate for Two Local Group Dwarf Galaxies: M32 and NGC 205", Neil, James D.; Shara, Michael

"A Multiwavelength Investigation of Unidentified Egret Sources", Wallace, P.; Bloom, S.; Lewis, M.

"Asteroid Photometry Using a Remote, Commercial Telescope: Results for Asteroids 808, 1225, and 28753", Ditteon, Richard; Tollefson, Eric; Twarek, Andrew

"LCOGT Networked Observations of RR Lyr Stars in the Sextans Dwarf Spheroidal Galaxy", Baliber, Nairn; Siegel, M. H.; Hidas, M. G.; Norbury, M.

"The Lick AGN Monitoring Project 2. Photometric Light Curves", Walsh, Jonell, LAMP Collaboration

"Co-ordinated Follow-Up of Transiting Planet Candidates with Robotic Telescope Facilities", Street, R. A.; Lister, T. A.

"Early Time Chromatic Variations in the Wind-Swept Medium of GRB 021211 and the Faintness of  Its Afterglow", M. C. Nysewander,1 D. E. Reichart et al.

"A Comparison of the EPM and SCM Distances to the Type-II Plateau Supernova SN 2001", Durham, R. N.; Leonard, D. C.; Filippenko, A. V.; Li, W.; Chornock, R


Tenagra II Images



Image on left, a portion of M20, the Trifid Nebula, processed by John Smith.  Image on right is M96 processed by Ken Crawford.



Ever wish you had a 16" f/3.75 refractor?  The Tenagra III astrograph is the next best thing.  This is a calibrated 30 second image of M33 which is a large enough object to fill the field of most telescopes.  It is this field size and the QE of the 16801 (16803 chip without anti-blooming) that allows this scope to discover comets, NEOs and new main belt asteroids.


Current News:


June 23, 2014.  Tenagra's comet discovery total is now 11!  Yes, ELEVEN.  This has been made possible by the use of the best obtainable software for detection of moving objects, SkySift available from Dr. Paulo Holvorcem reachable at holvorcem@mpc.com.br.


May 12, 2013.  The Tenagra III astrograph has discovered comet P/2013 EW_90.  This bring Tenagra's comet discovery total since late September to SIX


April 19, 2013.  The Tenagra III astrograph has discovered long period COMET C/2013 G9.  This bring Tenagra's comet discovery total since late September to FIVE, beyond our wildest dreams.  But the Arizona observing season isn't over yet.  We will continue scanning the skies with our little 0.41-m astrograph, now referred to as "The Little Engine That Could". 


March 12, 2013.  Finally, the Tenagra II telescope has time available for next year's observing season:  September 15, 2013 to July 1, 2014.  A half share is available for $40K.  A half share means that the user has all night every other night.  Inquiries for hourly use are also welcome.  Contact Michael Schwartz (mbs@tenagraobservatories.com) for more information.


If a half share user does not happen, then Tenagra will provide time on a nightly basis.  Why pay $525 per night to remotely access the Kitt Peak 20" when you can use the 32" at Tenagra for $600 per night?  We have added LRGB filters (Astrodon 2nd generation) to the Tenagra scientific filter set for those who wish to image deep sky wonders.  Field of view is ~15 X 15 arc minutes.  You may manually perform each telescope slew and each exposure or submit a list of observations to be serially processed.


February, 2013.  The Tenagra III astrograph has discovered two more comets in quick succession:  C/2013 C2 (Tenagra) and C/2013 D1 (Holvorcem).  Both are periodic with quite interesting orbits. Comet Tenagra has been classified by the NASA NEO website as a "Chiron-type comet".  It's orbit stays roughly between Saturn and Uranus and is also classified as a Centaur.  Both comets bring Tenagra's comet discovery total since late September to 4, certainly a record for any amateur installation.


December 16, 2012.  The Tenagra III astrograph has had an amazing output since going on-line about the end of September:



   2 comets: P/2012 TK8 (Tenagra), P/2012 WX32 (Tombaugh-Tenagra)
   5 NEOs: 2012 TV, 2012 TX78, 2012 VJ82, 2012 XY6, 2012 XE112
   1 unusual minor planet (comet-like orbit): 2012 XO144
   About 340 minor planet discoveries (up to 2012 Nov. 28 Minor Planet Circulars)

4 NEO recoveries: 2008 HV4, 2005 QX151, 2010 SS3, 2002 PC11

60,480 astrometric observations published (up to the 2012 Nov. 28 MPCs; many
   unidentified one-night detections probably still unpublished, waiting for

18,794 distinct objects detected among published astrometric observations
   (up to 2012 Nov. 28 MPCs)


November 9, 2012.  Tenagra celebrates its 10th anniversary.  Where did all the time go?  Ten years ago the Tenagra II 32" went online in fully automated mode.  Tens of thousands of images later the telescope still delivers data to professional observatories and high-end amateurs around the world.  Special thanks and congratulations go to Paulo Holvorcem, Tenagra's partner in crime, dedicated friend and probably the best telescope real-time control programmer in the world.


October 19, 2012.  The Tenagra III astrograph has discovered a comet and a NEO within 3 days of each other.  We detected NEO K12T78X on October 9th at about magnitude 19.5.  Prompt follow-up by Pan-STARRS and Catalina verified that this NEO was of the Amor variety.  The Tenagra III telescope detected Comet P/2012 TK8 on October 6th.  Again, our thanks goes out to the Mt. Lemon Survey and Pan-STARRS for their expert and timely follow-up.


September 16, 2012.  Our first full night's run of the 16" Tenagra III astrograph yielded:


4 NEO submissions

154 observations of new minor planets.


If solar system object discovery is something you enjoy then contact us about observing time.


September 11, 2012.  Tenagra Observatories opens September 15UT.  The 32" Tenagra II telescope is SOLD OUT for this observing season.  We are still accepting users of our 16" astrograph who wish to find new minor planets and comets.  Contact Michael Schwartz at mbs@tenagraobservatories.com for more information.


July 2, 2012.  Tenagra Observatories has closed for the duration of the Arizona monsoon.  We will reopen on or about September 15, 2012.  During this time feel free to contact Michael Schwartz at mbs@tenagraobservatories.com


April 11, 2012.  Michael Schwartz and Paulo Holvorcem, working together on the Tenagra III astrograph, have been awarded the 2011 Edgar O. Wilson prize for the discovery of comet C/2011 K1.


March 24, 2012.  The Tenagra II 32" has been 100% SOLD OUT for all of next year's season (September 15, 2012 to July 1, 2013).  Contact Michael Schwartz if you have a project that would be suitable for the Tenagra III f/3.75 astrograph.






How Much Does It Cost and How Do I Establish an Account?

Given large block time purchases, 32" time can go as low as $50 per exposure hour.  Do you require a large amount of research telescope time on the Tenagra II 32"?  Please click this link for more information. 




For Current Weather Conditions at Tenagra Click Here.

For the Tenagra Clear Sky Clock Click Here. 

For the Tenagra All-Sky Images Click Here. 




Tenagra Overview and Services.

How Do the Tenagra Telescopes Work?

Requesting Observing Time.

Pro Bono Telescope Time.

Who Are We?

Telescope Site in Arizona.




Archived News

If You Wish To Join the Tenagra User's Group Then Click Here.

  Supernova and Other Discoveries.

Some Useful Links.

Contact Us.

[Archived News] [Telescope Overview and Service] [Who Are We?[Telescope Sites] [Supernovae & Other Discoveries] [Feedback] [Web Site Search] [Links] [Contact Us]

Last Updated Monday, 23 June 2014

(c) 1997-2014  Tenagra Observatories, Ltd.


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