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The Clinton B. Ford Observatory was built in 1998 with funding from the estate of Clinton B. Ford, the National Science Foundation, and Ithaca College. Clint Ford was a former trustee of the college. He had been an amateur astronomer and asked that his gift go toward the study of astronomy at the college.

The telescope is a model CCT-16, 0.4m f/8 Cassegrain telescope, manufactured by DFM Engineering, Inc. The telescope is contolled by a computer in the warm room to achieve a blind pointing accuracy typically better than 1 arc-minute. This is smaller than the field of view of our CCD camera on this telescope, so the acquisition of celestial objects is easy and very accurate.