Observatory

Dome under full moon

The Charles and Kathryn Heide Schoolyard Observatory at Hawthorn Hollow features a Meade LX200 – ACF 16″ telescope on an Alt-Az mount in an automated dome as well as two mounts for smaller telescopes outside the dome. The observatory hosts daytime and nighttime field trips & classes, scout merit badge workshops as well as star parties. Please send inquiries or requests for events to:

Upcoming Events

  • Saturday, August 31 7:30pm – 11:30pm :

    Open House

    Come enjoy an evening of star gazing and telescope viewing. A variety of telescopes will be on hand with volunteers to guide you seeing the night’s brightest objects. You are also welcome to bring your own binoculars or telescopes.

  • Monday, September 16 8:00pm – 9:30pm :

    Binoculars on the Sky

    Use binoculars to find objects in the night sky and enjoy the beauty of magnified planets, galaxies, and nebulae. Binoculars are available to borrow or you may bring your own. Appropriate for adults and mature children. ($5/person; weather permitting). Space is limited so sign up by e-mailing the above address and indicate whether you will be borrowing or bringing your own binoculars.

  • Friday, September 20 8:00pm – 10:00pm :

    Telescope Tour

    Take a visual tour of planets, nebulae, galaxies, and other celestial bodies through the 16″ telescope at the Schoolyard Observatory. Learn about the how to locate these objects and determine their distances, sizes, and other properties. Register in advance since attendance is limited to 10 individuals by e-mailing the address above. ($5/person; weather permitting).

  • Saturday, September 28 7:00pm – 11:00pm :

    Open House

    Come enjoy an evening of star gazing and telescope viewing. A variety of telescopes will be on hand with volunteers to guide you seeing the night’s brightest objects. You are also welcome to bring your own binoculars or telescopes.

  • Friday, October 4 8:00pm – 10:00pm :

    Telescope Tour

    Take a visual tour of planets, nebulae, galaxies, and other celestial bodies through the 16″ telescope at the Schoolyard Observatory. Learn about the how to locate these objects and determine their distances, sizes, and other properties. Register in advance since attendance is limited to 10 individuals by e-mailing the address above. ($5/person; weather permitting).

  • Saturday, October 5 3:00pm – 6:00pm :

    Fall Astronomy Day

    Celebrate the science of the sky and come see what can be visible during the day through the 16″ telescope at the Schoolyard Observatory (Sun, Moon, Venus, Jupiter, and maybe Mercury & Saturn). Learn about the layout of the Sun, Moon, and planets against the stars through a virtual projection of the sky in the Nature Center.

  • Monday, October 21 7:30pm – 8:30pm :

    Naked-eye Astronomy

    Find out how the Sun, Moon, stars, and planets move across our sky and learn the important points that we use to map the sky. You won’t need any special equipment beyond your eyes and your brain. Open for all ages ($5/person or $10/family; indoors if weather bad). E-mail the address above to sign up.

  • Saturday, October 26 6:00pm – 10:00pm :

    Open House

    Come enjoy an evening of star gazing and telescope viewing. A variety of telescopes will be on hand with volunteers to guide you seeing the night’s brightest objects. You are also welcome to bring your own binoculars or telescopes.

  • Monday, November 4 7:00pm – 8:30pm :

    Binoculars on the Sky

    Use binoculars to find objects in the night sky and enjoy the beauty of magnified planets, galaxies, and nebulae. Binoculars are available to borrow or you may bring your own. Appropriate for adults and mature children. ($5/person; weather permitting). Space is limited so sign up by e-mailing the above address and indicate whether you will be borrowing or bringing your own binoculars.

  • Monday, November 11 6:00am – 12:30pm :

    Transit of Mercury

    Drop in to see the small black shadow of Mercury cross the Sun through the solar-filtered 16″ telescope at the Schoolyard Observatory. Learn how measurements of planet transits helped make the first modern estimates of the size of the Solar System. This rare event will not come again until 2032!

  • Friday, November 15 7:00pm – 9:00pm :

    Telescope Tour

    Take a visual tour of planets, nebulae, galaxies, and other celestial bodies through the 16″ telescope at the Schoolyard Observatory. Learn about the how to locate these objects and determine their distances, sizes, and other properties. Register in advance since attendance is limited to 10 individuals by e-mailing the address above. ($5/person; weather permitting).

  • Saturday, November 30 6:30pm – 10:30pm :

    Open House

    Come enjoy an evening of star gazing and telescope viewing. A variety of telescopes will be on hand with volunteers to guide you seeing the night’s brightest objects. You are also welcome to bring your own binoculars or telescopes.

  • Friday, December 6 7:00pm – 9:00pm :

    Telescope Tour

    Take a visual tour of planets, nebulae, galaxies, and other celestial bodies through the 16″ telescope at the Schoolyard Observatory. Learn about the how to locate these objects and determine their distances, sizes, and other properties. Register in advance since attendance is limited to 10 individuals by e-mailing the address above. ($5/person; weather permitting).

  • Monday, December 9 7:00pm – 8:00pm :

    Naked-eye Astronomy

    Find out how the Sun, Moon, stars, and planets move across our sky and learn the important points that we use to map the sky. You won’t need any special equipment beyond your eyes and your brain. Open for all ages ($5/person or $10/family; indoors if weather bad). E-mail the address above to sign up.

  • Saturday, December 21 6:30pm – 10:30pm :

    December Solstice Open House

    Come enjoy an evening of star gazing and telescope viewing and celebrate the longest night of the year. A variety of telescopes will be on hand with volunteers to guide you seeing the night’s brightest objects. You are also welcome to bring your own binoculars or telescopes.

 

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