Public Observing at Washburn

Update 2/22/16:  Needed repairs to the dome have been completed and the Department is excited to announce that public observing will resume inside the historic Washburn telescope dome on March 2, 2016 (weather permitting).  Please continue to monitor the Wasbhurn Observatory twitter account or the twitter feed to the right on this page.

The UW-Madison Astronomy Department offers free public observing at Washburn Observatory on the first and third Wednesday of each month, and every Wednesday June through August, weather permitting. The Open House sessions are hosted by UW astronomy graduate students. The public viewing sessions are informal, so there is no lecture or tour.

The status of the upcoming Washburn Observatory Open House is displayed in the Washburn Twitter Feed, which is usually updated approximately 30 minutes before the scheduled start time of the session.

The dome is open to the outside air so dress appropriately. Food and drinks, as well as flash photography are not allowed in the observatory.

Please also note the free public observing opportunities offered through our Universe in the Park program and through UW Space Place, the education and public outreach center of the UW Astronomy Department.


Unfortunately, to preserve the original character of Washburn, the telescope is not handicap accessible and is only reachable by climbing a flight of stairs.

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