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The telescope at the Three College Observatory is a Cassegrain reflecting telescope. The mirror diameter is 0.81 meters (32 inches) and can collect approximately 26,000 times as much light as the human eye. The telescope is the largest in North Carolina, and one of the largest in the southeastern United States. Constructed in 1979 by Sigma Research, Inc. of Richland, WA and installed in May 1981. The Three College Observatory was founded in the late 1970's by three institutions of higher education in Greensboro to provide a state-of-the-art telescope for use by students, faculty, and members of the community. A pproximately 1,000 students, amateur astronomers, school groups, and members of the community visit the telescope each year. The building contains 1100 square feet of usable floor space including an unheated observing dome, a darkroom, a small classroom and two lavatories. The observatory dome is 24 feet in diameter. The observaroty is open to the public on selected nights.