Research Observatories

The Astronomy Department is a major partner in the WIYN 3.5m and the SALT telescopes, which are our major science facilities. In addition, the department is running the WIYN 0.9m telescope on Kitt Peak and the Pine Bluff observatory. Beyond these ground-based efforts in the visible, the department is involved in keystone projects for the SKA precursors ASKAP and MEERKAT and the Arecibo radio telescope, and UV sounding rocket experiments.

Southern African Large Telescope

The SALT telescope collects light from astronomical objects and accurately focuses it onto the telescope focal plane.

SALT Observatory.

Pine Bluff Observatory

Built in 1958 and located about 15 miles west of Madison, the Pine Bluff Observatory is used for teaching and research in astronomy and provides a facility for testing new instruments.

Top of Pine Bluff Observatory.


The UW-Madison Astronomy Department is full member of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey IV, meaning that all department members have access to the data.

WIYN 0.9m Telescope

The WIYN 0.9m Observatory supports the current and future research and educational needs of its scientists by operating and maintaining the 0.9m facility at its highest standards.

Top of WIYN observatory.

WIYN 3.5m Telescope

The WIYN Telescope, a 3.5-meter instrument employing many technological breakthroughs, is the newest and second largest telescope on Kitt Peak.

WIYN observatory.

IRAM Partnership

The Institut de radioastronomie millimétrique (IRAM) is an international research institute and the first European center for millimetre-wave radio astronomy. UW-Madison has a partnership that allows for access to their two world-class observatories.

IRAM headquarters.