In 2004, we undertook an ambitious effort to upgrade the research capabilities of the UMBC Instructional/Research Telescope. This project involved the purchase of over $20,000 in new equipment: a wide-field imager, 20 narrow-band filters, and a spectrograph.
September 23, 2004 was the premiere of the wide-field STL-11000M CCD camera on the telescope. Present were Eric Perlman, the Observatory Coordinator, and Jean Dougherty, an undergraduate research assistant working on the telescope. The weather quickly degraded to thick cirrus, but it was enough to obtain first light images of M57, the Ring nebula in Lyra.