SSC Observatories

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SSC Observatories(SSCO) was founded in 1996 by John E. Hoot, the founder and retired CEO of Software Systems Consulting. The original observatory was built to allow testing and development astronomical instruments being developed by SSC. It also offered Mr. Hoot the opportunity to pursue his passion for astronomical research. Since its founding, SSC Observatories has expanded to include facilities at three locations on two continents with 7 different instruments. Today all instruments are remotely operable and collect science data daily.


San Clemente
SSCO's initial facility, designated SSCO-1 is housed in a 6 foot dome in San Clemente, CA. The observatory is built 17 feet above the ground to reduce ground seeing and provide a better viewing horizon. It features forced air ventilation designed to improve seeing and speed instrument cooling. The dome is slaved to the telescope and the whole facility may be run operator attended, tele-remotely or as an unattended robot.

Center For Solar Systems Studies
SSCO also has an observatory at the Center For Solar Systems Studies designated CS3-7, located in the high Mojave desert of southern California where Mr. Hoot is a staff observer. This observatory holds two permanently mounted telescopes in a roll-off roof structure. Additionally, the site hosts a Sandia National Laboratory Sky Sentinel Meteor Camera.

SSCO has plans in progress to build CS3-RTI, a 407Mhz and 1421Mhz radio transit interferometers at the Center For Solar Systems Studies site.

Las Campanas Observatory
SSCO is part of the consortium operating the Las Campanas Observatory Online Telescope. LCRO is an automated remotely operated telescope used for science, imaging and educational public outreach. SSCO is responsible for the systems integration and ongoing engineering support of the facility and receives observing time in return for these services.

Mount Wilson Observatory
SSCO developed and operated the Mount Wilson Observatory Online Telescope. This was the predecessor of LCRO. Upon its completion, the equipment was packaged and shipped for installation in Chile and became LCRO.

SSCO still provides instructional and engineering support service to MWI CUREA and maintains the Phoenix 0.4m telescope in the Cook dome used by CUREA and other observers. SSCO also provided and maintains the Snow Solar Telescope Spectroscopic Imaging Camera Platform at MWI.

Hoot Vega Radio Telescope
SSCO built the Hoot-Vega Radio Telescope at the Vega-Bray observatory in Benson Arizona in 1998 and operated the observatory until untimely passing of Dr. Vega in 2003. SSCO in no longer affiliated with the observatory.

SSC Observatories Offices:
1303 S. Ola Vista
San Clemente, CA 92682

Email: observatory <at>

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